A day after his carefully orchestrated protests briefly blocked rush-hour traffic, the Rev. Al Sharpton on Thursday promised to stage another mass protest over three police detectives' acquittals in the 50-bullet killing of an unarmed man.
The next protest is planned somewhere in New York City within seven to 10 days, said Charlie King, acting national director of Sharpton's National Action Network. He said no other details would be released until next week.
"Yesterday was the beginning of a long and sustained campaign of civil disobedience," King said.
Sharpton, two survivors of the shooting, the slain man's fiancee and more than 200 other demonstrators were arrested Wednesday after they blocked traffic at the Brooklyn Bridge, the Holland Tunnel and other major transportation arteries.
The protests were aimed at getting the U.S. attorney's office to pursue civil rights charges against the undercover detectives, who were acquitted of wrongdoing in the shooting last month in state court. Federal prosecutors are reviewing the case but declined to comment Thursday.
Sharpton and relatives of the slain man, Sean Bell, planned to meet privately Thursday with Gov. David Paterson to press for a state law requiring independent prosecutors to investigate police shootings, King said.
Groom's death sparks outrage
Bell was gunned down as he and two friends left his bachelor party at a Queens strip club on his wedding day in November 2006. The shooting stirred outrage and complaints about police conduct. One officer fired 31 bullets, emptying and reloading his gun.
The officers said they believed Bell and his friends were about to get a gun; no firearm was found. Bell's friends, who were seriously wounded, say the police shot without warning, which the officers deny.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has said his department is considering disciplinary action against the detectives.
Sharpton, shooting survivors Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman and Bell's fiancee, Nicole Paultre Bell, were released about four hours after their arrests on disorderly conduct charges.
King said Sharpton was pleased with Wednesday's protest but envisioned still larger demonstrations to come.
"We thought that, as the first and significant step on this issue, it went extremely well," King said.