Protesters march down Commerce Street Thursday night.
Protesters march down Commerce Street Thursday night.
Stephen Young

Eric Garner Protest Peaceful; Dallas Police Keep Marchers off I-35 This Time

For the second week in a row, demonstrators took to Dallas streets to protest an out-of-state grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer for killing an unarmed black man. Unlike last week, Dallas police blocked off access to Interstate 35 and kept demonstrators from closing the freeway.

Thursday's protest was against a Staten Island grand jury's decision not to indict New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo for choking Eric Garner to death. Pantaleo killed the 43-year-old Garner while arresting him for selling loose cigarettes.

Last week's protest, in which demonstrators temporarily shut down I-35, concerned a a St. Louis grand jury vote not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Mike Brown.

Thursday's march began at Dallas Police Headquarters on Lamar Street and included about 250 people at its largest. They wended their way through downtown from the Cedars, eventually getting as far as the American Airlines Center before turning around and heading back through downtown. Cops blocked downtown entrances to the freeway throughout. At about 9:25 p.m., police shut down the roadway as a precaution, but it was reopened less than 15 minutes later.

Despite interactions between protesters and cops being overwhelmingly peaceful, the Dallas Police Department made five arrests for obstructing a passageway of highway, a Class B misdemeanor punishable with a maximum fine of $2,000 and as much as six months in jail.

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