NEW YORK -- Thousands of people expressing grief, anger and hope for a better future have taken to New York City streets to protest the chokehold death of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.
The noontime rally and march Saturday in Staten Island is being led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and relatives of Eric Garner, who died last month.
The marchers walked behind a banner that says, "We Will Not Go Back, March for Justice."
Police estimate the crowd at 2,500 people and growing as busloads of marchers arrive. A police official credits march organizers with helping to keep things orderly.
Sharpton had earlier warned demonstrators to go home if they could not remain nonviolent.
The Rev. Al Sharpton is stressing the importance of keeping violence out of a New York City rally over the chokehold death of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.
Sharpton made his remarks Saturday morning at the Mt. Sinai United Christian Church on Staten Island. He told the audience of about 100 that they should stay in the church or go home if they are too angry to be nonviolent.
He also repeated his call for a federal takeover of the case.
The rally is scheduled to begin at midday. It comes five weeks after Eric Garner was stopped for selling loose cigarettes and placed in a chokehold.
Garner's widow urged the crowd to march in peace toward justice.
Activists want criminal charges brought against the offices involved.
The Saturday march in Staten Island is being led by the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network.
It begins on the street where the 43-year-old Eric Garner was placed in the fatal hold last month and ends at the office of Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, who this week said he's sending the case to a grand jury.
Sharpton is demanding that the NYPD officers involved face criminal charges.
He'll be joined by members of Garner's family and relatives of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old shot to death by police in Missouri earlier this month.