PROSPECT HEIGHTS — About 200 protesters blocked traffic in protest of police brutality in front of the Barclays Center where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched a Nets game Monday night.
Motivated by the Staten Island grand jury's decision last week not to indict an officer for the chokehold death of Eric Garner, the demonstrators staged a "die-in" at Fort Greene Place and Atlantic Avenue about 7:30 p.m. before gathering in front of the stadium, chanting "Whose streets? Our streets," "I can't breathe" and "Hands up, don't shoot."
"I'm here because I'm black," said Tenaja Jordan, a resident of Park Slope originally from Staten Island, who has been out for four different nights of protests in the city. "I have a brother and a father and I'm sick of feeling scared and powerless."
"I would also like to say this isn't about hating all cops," she added. "They're all part of a system that discriminates against us, whether they want to be or not. And I make sure to thank a cop before I go home every night for me not getting hurt."
Police placed barricades surrounding the doors of the Barclays Center, where the Nets played the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, in the middle of a three-day visit to the U.S., and rapper Jay Z and wife Beyoncé were also in attendance.
Some Twitter posts referring to the protests outside the stadium used the hashtag #RoyalShutdown.
An Instagram post and additional reports indicated that some of the basketball players, including Cavaliers forward LeBron James and Nets players like Deron Williams, wore "I can't breathe" shirts in tribute to Garner before the game.
Protesters started dispersing from the Barclays area around 8 p.m., moving westbound toward Manhattan, chanting, "The whole damn system is guilty as hell" and "Police brutality is a deadly force."