Asbury Park protest draws thousands; locals say ‘go in peace’ when it ends
ASBURY PARK — A Monday late afternoon protest drew a large crowd to Asbury Park, where chants of "Enough is enough," "George Floyd" and "No Justice, no peace," punctuated the hours-long event.
Update: Hours after the organized demonstration ended, several people, including an Asbury Park Press reporter were arrested.
One grassroots organization, Our Revolution Monmouth County NJ, gave an estimate that about 4,000 people turned out for the protest to demand justice for George Floyd and an end to police brutality.
When a large crowd still lingered an hour past the 8 p.m. curfew that the city announced Monday, some protesters urged those remaining to "go in peace" and asked that there be no escalation to dilute the message of the day's event, as captured by a Youtube live stream by Time to Change-Jersey Style reporter Jennifer Coombs. Warning that the following live stream video contains profanity.
Images posted to social media showed police officers calmly standing along the road as marchers passed. A group of officers kneeled at one point, as captured by The DOPE Blog on Instagram and by another attendee on Twitter.
Jack McLoone, who works for Asbury Park Press, tweeted about a "sequence of events" where someone slashed a tire on a cop car. He said police and the crowd managed to quell the situation as the person was removed for processing.
An Asbury Park police officer spoke to the crowd after a protester was arrested, as captured on video by another attendee, Gianna Mehes. It was not immediately confirmed that it was the same individual accused of slashing a tire.
The officer said protesting was the attendees' right, and he invited the crowd to wait for the person who was arrested, saying he would be out in just a few minutes after paperwork was filed. The officer said those marching could stay put or continue on, but police would help protect the crowd either way.
The crowd assembled along West Bangs Avenue for 5 p.m., where it was addressed by several speakers, including former Asbury Park Mayor Myra Campbell.
Then, the crowd marched in the streets, down Cookman and Ocean Avenues and onto the boardwalk, before turning onto 5th Avenue and back toward the west side of Asbury Park, largely along Route 71, or Main Street.
A lingering group of protesters was near the Asbury Park Police Department well after 9 p.m., based on social media photos and video clips, as officers stood out among those who remained.
Asbury Park was among at least six communities in New Jersey that enacted curfews Monday night, to try and maintain peace after violence that erupted in both Atlantic City and Trenton Sunday evening.
The vast majority of demonstrations in New Jersey over the weekend ended peacefully.
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