Chivona Newsome remembers the lonely Black Lives Matter protests for Eric Garner in 2015 attended by only a dozen or so people. She spent five years pleading for lawmakers in New York to ban police chokeholds to no avail after the 43-year-old father of six was killed while being arrested for allegedly selling cigarettes.
But weeks after George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day, Newsome was leading protests at Times Square with 25,000 people as other massive demonstrations erupted across the country. Lawmakers in New York and several other states and cities passed legislation to ban police chokeholds.
While the recent support feels good, Newsome is still waiting for more sweeping changes.
“A whole lot more needs to be done in terms of investing in the (Black) community," said Newsome, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Greater New York.