Over the last several days, hundreds of thousands people gathered in major US cities, and more than a hundred were arrested in Boston, Oakland, Durham and New York.
On July 19, a bystander videotaped white police officer Daniel Pantaleo, applying a banned chokehold on Eric Garner for selling untaxed cigarettes. The 43-year-old Staten Island native died from suffocation a few minutes later. In Ferguson, Missouri, off-duty police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9. Both incidents set off a series of massive nationwide demonstrations.
"Don't let no provocateurs get you out of line," the reverend urged the crowd that exceeded initial estimates by 20,000 on Saturday. His calls appeared to have been heeded, though some participants expressed disappointment over the lack of "action" in the march.
"We set the tone where we're going to use as much restraint as possible," Boston Police Commissioner William Evans was quoted by the Boston Globe. He stressed that "if you look like you're ready for a fight… you're going to get one."
That appeared to be the case in Oakland, where 25 demonstrators were arrested for chaining themselves to police headquarters entrance Monday. The latest clashes came on top of 45 arrests Saturday over charges that included resisting arrest, failure to disperse and vandalism.
In Durham, North Carolina, 11 protesters were arrested near a major freeway on Saturday, bringing the citywide tally up to 42.
"We do not take attacks on our police officers lightly — never have, never will," Commissioner Bill Bratton was quoted by a local CBS station on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, as nationwide demonstrations petered out since the grand juries handed down decisions not to indict white police officers that fatally shot Michael Brown and choked Eric Garner to death, #BlackLivesMatter slowly lost momentum to the emerging #CopsLivesMatter.