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New York protesters say they want change from ‘daily fear’

In New York City, protesters were largely peaceful on Wednesday, but as nighttime fell, police in riot gear moved in to enforce a curfew -- sometimes by force. The NewsHour’s Daniel Bush talks with Judy Woodruff about what protesters there are saying about why they are out in the streets and how leaders there are approaching the demonstrations.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Yesterday's protests in New York were largely peaceful, but did include some skirmishes between protesters and police.

    The "NewsHour"'s Dan Bush has been on the ground following the protests, and he joins us from Brooklyn.

    So, Dan, hello.

    We have been reporting on police actions across the country. In some cases, there's been violent action taken by police. Tell us what you're seeing in New York City.

  • Dan Bush:

    That's right, Judy.

    I'm here right now in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, where we have seen protest activity for several days. More is expected later today in the area. You can see police behind me gathering, as well as protesters in the park.

    This is the scene during the day, Judy. At night, it's a different story. I was covering a protest last night around Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan. The police allowed protesters to continue marching after the 8:00 curfew. At 9:00, however, there was a very swift and sudden change.

    Police in riot gear rushed the crowd. And they began arresting people at random, seemingly, grabbing them out of the ground, police officers tackling them on the ground. And that is sort of what we are seeing at night, after people are out after the curfew.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Dan, we know, in New York City, there have been questions for a long time over the years about police, about possible overuse of force, if you will.

    What are you hearing from the protesters about what they're seeing?

  • Dan Bush:

    So, the protesters here in the nation's largest city, just like in other cities around the country, are out expressing their anger, their frustration, their pain at the way that they're treated by police.

    And let's take a listen here at one woman's comments about why she's out protesting.

  • Aboucou Libaly:

    I want to see change. I want to see, like — you know, I can't go outside at night with a hoodie on and not be profiled in the South Bronx and get, you know, ran up on by six detective cops, because they want to just search me to think — or they think I'm someone, you know, a suspect for something.

    It's like you have a daily fear of your life for no reason.

  • Dan Bush:

    That was a young man there, Judy, talking about his fear, his frustrations with the police, and that's what protesters are telling me here. They want concrete change.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And just quickly, Dan, what about political leaders? What are they saying about New York?

  • Dan Bush:

    That's right, Judy.

    President Trump has criticized Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio for not cracking down harder. Governor Cuomo also criticized de Blasio. The mayor, however, has said he does not want the National Guard here. This city has the largest police force in the country with 36,000 officers. The mayor is saying he thinks he can get this under control, these nighttime protests, he says, in the coming days.

    So, we will see what happens.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Dan Bush reporting for us tonight from Brooklyn.

    Thank you, Dan.

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