Protests against police brutality and racism continued around Long Island on Friday.  Credit: Newsday; Pablo Garcia Corradi, Kendall Rodriguez / John Conrad Williams Jr.

This story was reported by Daysi Calavia-Robertson, Zachary R. Dowdy, Dandan Zou and Matt Chayes. It was written by Dowdy.

Demonstrations continued at various locations on Long Island on Friday — with protesters still demanding justice for George Floyd and an end to police brutality and racism — as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law sweeping legislation aimed at sparking reform in law enforcement tactics.

Three men were arrested Friday evening after nearly 100 protesters marched peacefully down the streets of East Meadow. A crowd of about 150 gathered in front of Oyster Bay’s Town Hall to listen to a series of speakers voice their emotions over the injustices people of color in America “face every single day.” And demonstrations were scheduled at Commack, Rocky Point, Hicksville, Amityville and Coram.

For almost two weeks, Long Islanders have gathered on local streets to respond to the killing of Floyd, the black Minneapolis man who died on Memorial Day after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

In Oyster Bay, Jaiya Chetram, 15, a freshman at Oyster Bay High School, addressed the Black Lives Matter supporters from a microphone.

“I’m terrified to be here,” he said. “There’s police officers here, some of my teachers are here, but I’m terrified because I know people of color are fighting for their lives every day.”

Chetram said at his school — which he described as predominantly white — he’s often been involved in discussions with white classmates who don’t “and will never understand” the fears and struggles of people of color and “don’t believe their white privilege is real.”

He added: “It is. I’m there to tell them it is. And to my white peers who are here, I see you and I thank you. … After slavery there was reform, after civil rights there was reform and after this there will be reform and it will be because of all of us … history is happening now.”

Protestors and police clash during a pro Black Lives Matter...

Protestors and police clash during a pro Black Lives Matter march in East Meadow on Friday. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

Ravin Chetram, Jaiya’s father and vice president of the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce, also spoke. He implored the handful of police officers on site to become allies of the movement.

The worst enemy of a good cop is a bad cop, he said.

“I know it’s not easy. It can’t be easy,” Ravin Chetram said. “To have to turn on your partner or turn on your fellow officers, your brothers in blue, but we need your help to start chipping away at this broken, unjust system. It’s time to do what’s right ... for everyone.”

The legislation signed into law includes as many as 10 bills that place checks on police conduct, from banning the use of chokeholds to making public police officers' disciplinary records.

NCPD try to stop man from arguing with the Long Island...

NCPD try to stop man from arguing with the Long Island residents who came together to protest against police brutality at Delco Plaza in Hicksville on Friday. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

At East Meadow, tensions ran high after police arrested three men.

Protesters had marched peacefully for about two hours along Front Street and Hempstead Turnpike to the sound of approving honks from drivers and cheers from families standing on their lawn or front stoop.

In one instance, a woman repeatedly yelled “support the police” at her front door when protesters chanted “defund the police.”

The arrests came at what appeared to be the end of the march as protesters were approaching the East Meadow Mall, where the protest began.

An unidentified Nassau County police officer explained to angry protesters that the men were arrested for disorderly conduct after repeatedly crossing the street line and walking in the opposite direction. But protesters said it is within their rights to walk on the street.

“When there’s a protest, you are allowed to walk in the street,” said Cori Parham, 33, of Rosedale, one of the organizers. “Every other protest I went to, we take up the whole street, and we walk, and we walk, and we walk.”

In a statement issued Saturday, Nassau officials said, "Police repeatedly made attempts to keep protesters off moving lanes of traffic. This safety precaution was met with strong opposition and resistance which resulted in the arrests of these subjects."

Nassau police have "positively engaged" with protesters at over 75 demonstrations, "even during some tense moments," the statement, issued by the Nassau police department, said.

"Our police officers take an oath to protect and serve and they have done that admirably.  We have and continue to protect the public which includes protesters, during marches, on major roadways and during their interaction with counter protesters," the statement said. "We continue to support the rights of individuals who exercise their freedom of speech according to the First Amendment; however, these demonstrations must remain safe and orderly."

The three men arrested were released overnight, organizers said.

At the Oyster Bay event, a wooden table near the sidewalk held a small glass vase with a single stem of white carnations, the words “A Brother, A Friend, A Son, A Father, A HUMAN BEING,” displayed on the vase’s belly.

The name “George Floyd,” written in permanent black marker on a cut-up strip of Manila folder, was wrapped around the flowers’ stem.

Inside a black bucket beside the table, the stems of multicolored daisies in fuchsia and yellow tones displayed other names: Breonna Taylor. Patterson Brown. Stephon Clark.

Eventgoers were encouraged to take a flower, and to “know their name, learn their story, be the change.”

All the speakers made it a point to remind the crowd, “if you don’t vote, you can’t be the change.”

Meanwhile, in New York City on Friday night, thousands of cyclist protesters moved for hours through Brooklyn chanting “Black Lives Matter!” and other anti-NYPD slogans.

Hovering above, as at many of the prior demonstrations over the past two weeks, was a police chopper.

There were no protest-related arrests, according to preliminary information, the NYPD said Saturday morning.

While the citywide police presence has decreased, there were still hundreds of cops posted at the hot spots in Manhattan, Brooklyn and beyond.

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