De Blasio Urges Calm As Protests Over Garner Decision Are Planned Citywide

From his press release:

“Today’s outcome is one that many in our city did not want. Yet New York City owns a proud and powerful tradition of expressing ourselves through non-violent protest. We trust that those unhappy with today’s grand jury decision will make their views known in the same peaceful, constructive way. We all agree that demonstrations and free speech are valuable contributions to debate, and that violence and disorder are not only wrong – but hurt the critically important goals we are trying to achieve together. The grand jury is but one part of the process. There will still be an NYPD internal investigation. And we know the US Attorney is continuing her investigation. Should the federal government choose to act, we stand ready to cooperate.”

Protests will take place tonight in Times Square, Union Square, and other areas with more planned for tomorrow. De Blasio has elected to skip tonight’s tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center where the police presence has been “significantly strengthened.”

UPDATE: A die-in is underway at Grand Central.