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Protesters persist in national demonstrations over race and injustice – Part 1

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    Highways have been blocked, retail establishments shut down, and public transportation slowed as mostly young protesters have taken it to the streets in the wake of a pair of grand jury nonindictments.

    Today, President Obama and other political leaders weighed in again, as the outcry continued across the nation.

    Protests started up again this morning in New York, as demonstrators blocked a major highway on Staten Island. Last week, a grand jury there opted not to indict a white police officer in the death of a black man, Eric Garner.


    No justice, no peace!


    No justice, no peace!


    The now-daily demonstrations have swept from coast to coast. Most of the rallies, like these in Manhattan, have been peaceful, but they have laid bare a deep vein of distrust.

  • WOMAN:

    You know, I'm scared. I know a lot of people are afraid of the police, and they are here to protect us.

  • MAN:

    I don't know that it's a matter of racist cops or not, but there's something definitely wrong with the system, and I think the system should be indicted.


    Today, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sought to address that crisis in confidence. He wrote to the governor asking for authority to investigate all deaths of unarmed civilians by police.

    Elsewhere, about 200 protesters in Philadelphia braved the cold to stage a die-in after yesterday's Eagles football game. Police looked on, but didn't intervene.

  • RICHARD ROSS, Deputy Commissioner, Philadelphia Police Department:

    People have the right to their opinions. And they have the right to protest. That's what this country was founded on. And we have the obligation to protect everybody.


    It was a much different scene in Berkeley, California, where violence erupted for a second night. Authorities said a splinter group vandalized and looted, and police fired tear gas to break up the crowd.

  • MAN:

    A kid with a hammer comes in, throws brake fluid like he was going to light the store on fire. A guy with a crowbar comes in and starts stealing stuff.


    In an interview with BET, airing this evening, President Obama appealed to young people especially to show calm and patience.


    This isn't going to be solved overnight. This is something that is deeply rooted in our society. It's deeply rooted in our history. We have to be persistent, because, typically, progress is in steps. It's in increments. You know, when you're dealing with something as deeply rooted as racism or bias in any society, you have got to have vigilance, but you have got to recognize that it's going to take some time, and you just have to be steady.


    And, in Cleveland, the mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice also spoke out today. She demanded a white officer be tried and convicted for killing her son, who was holding a toy gun when he was shot last month.

    A new poll by USA Today and the Pew Research Center shows age matters. Seventy-four percent of those under 30 say the policeman who killed New Yorker Eric Garner should have been charged, but among those over 65, only 41 percent think so.

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