Protesters block traffic in downtown Miami
Dozens disrupt traffic in Midtown, Wynwood, Design District
MIAMI – A protest including hundreds of people blocked traffic on Interstate 195 and other major roadways Friday evening in downtown Miami.
Traffic was at a standstill near Biscayne Boulevard in Miami's Midtown about 6:40 p.m. The protest's message was diverse. A woman was holding a sign that read "Black Lives Matter" and another sign said "Justice for Israel." A man had a flag representing the hackers activist group Anonymous.
"We are young, we are strong; we are marching all night long," the protesters said.
Sky 10 was above the scene as protesters used bullhorns to lead chants and carried signs calling for an end to police brutality. The crowd was slowly making its way off the highway and onto Biscayne Boulevard and Northwest 36th Street.
Some signs were asking for justice in the death of Israel Hernandez and others mentioned Delbert Rodriguez, who is at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
A Miami police officer Michael Cadavid injured Rodriguez, a graffiti writer Friday in Wynwood, and Miami Beach police officer Jorge Mercado, shot Hernandez, 18, with a Taser before he died August 2013.
The group marched on Northwest 36th Street in front of satellite art fairs and Target, where already traffic was an issue. They passed by popular restaurants Wynwood Kitchen & Bar and Wood Tavern. And they made a stop on North Miami Avenue to block the road.
Miami police officers didn't appear to be dispersing the crowd, although marked and unmarked police cars could be seen among the fray. Miami Police Deputy Chief Luis Cabrera called the protests peaceful.
The protest complicated traffic to events related to Art Basel Miami Beach, which attracts about 75,000 people to South Beach and Miami's Wynwood, Midtown and Design District neighborhoods.
About 9 p.m., protesters finished their demonstration back where they started at Northwest 36th Street and First Avenue.
Protesters were shouting "Shut It Down" for the hash tag that dissenters nationwide were using to protest. They were also using hash tag "Ferguson 2 Miami," "Hands Up Don't Shoot" and "Indict The System."
The ACLU of Florida, Occupy Miami and The Dream Defenders Twitter accounts were sharing photos of the protest. Occupy Miami was a group protesting economic inequity and The Dream Defenders have organized protests on immigration policy and how it affects students.
The groups have joined the "Shut It Down" movement, which was born after a grand jury cleared New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was seen in a video holding Erick Garner on a choke hold that killed him.
The decision on the New York City case follows the Ferguson's grand jury decision to not charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown.
Some protesters were using Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook to say that they were upset over police colliding with graffiti writers in Miami-Dade County.
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