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Sharpton-led 'We Will Not Go Back March' police shooting protest expected to draw thousands

Rev. Al Sharpton, standing with Esaw Garner, wife

Rev. Al Sharpton, standing with Esaw Garner, wife of Eric Garner, right, and Eric Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, takes a question from reporters after a brief meeting they attended with U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta E. Lynch August 21, 2014. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Via bridge and ferry, "Justice Caravans" are ready to stream onto Staten Island Saturday to protest two killings by police of black men.

Thousands of protesters, led by the Rev. Al Sharpton, are planning to march from the street where Eric Garner died of what the medical examiner says is a banned police chokehold to the office of the borough's district attorney, who is investigating the death.

Organizers vow that the demonstration will be peaceful -- a contrast to the occasional violence by both protesters and police that has pockmarked protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the killing of the other man, Michael Brown, who was shot unarmed earlier this month.

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said the NYPD has been "working very collaboratively, very closely with the organizers" so the rally is peaceful. He said he has "no expectation -- none -- of any concern about disorder."

Sharpton's "We Will Not Go Back March" will start about 11 a.m. at Bay Street and Victory Boulevard and go to Stuyvesant Street.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Public Advocate Letitia James have said they won't attend, but Thursday Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said she intends to join the marchers.

Malika Duggan, 64, who works in a coffee shop several doors down from where Garner was killed, wants to help protesters with necessities.

"We plan on being open. We'll be stocking up on water and toilet paper," Duggan said.

But John Shun, 39, a Victory Boulevard, pawn shop owner, said he will close Saturday.

"I don't think anything will happen, but I don't want to take a chance. This is a jewelry store with large windows," he said, adding that at the last Garner rally, "It was scary to see it. "

With Maria Alvarez

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