The death of George Floyd has sparked protests across the country, and New York carried some of that pain through this weekend.

Protests have popped up in almost every major city in the state and many have turned violent.

Senator Zellnor Myrie joined peaceful protestors in New York City on Friday night when he was struck with an officer’s bicycle.

“Their bikes, they’re hitting us in our legs and our backs. I’m getting shoved, I’m getting pushed,” Senator Myrie explained. “I’m getting yelled at, and I’m trying to tell them that I’m doing what they’re asking me to do. I’m moving back while I’m also trying to shield some of the people behind me, because of us getting hit, so we’re trying to move back. And in that, me moving back and getting hit, I was then sprayed and there was an officer there that said ‘Cuff him, cuff him.’ Both my hands were grabbed and as you may have seen in the picture, I’m yelling because my eyes were on fire and I have no idea why I have been put in zip ties.”

Once officers in charge realized who Senator Myrie was, he was released from custody. But Myrie says his experience was shared by many at the protest, but not all were released as quickly.

“If we don’t attack this problem at the root and see that there is a very serious problem with our law enforcement and that is in fact why we are protesting, I don’t think we are going to get anywhere. And that is why we need police accountability,” Myrie said.

It wasn’t just in New York City that protests turned violent, although Governor Cuomo said during his daily press briefing that upstate did slightly better on Sunday night after cities imposed curfews.

However Donna Lieberman, the Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union says that these curfews suppress protestors’ rights.

“It’s a mistake,” Lieberman explained. “It’s a mistake as a policy matter. It’s a mistake as a political matter and it’s just plain wrong to look to a curfew to solve our problems. I think it’s really only going to exacerbate them.”

Lieberman did praise the actions of some officers over the weekend, and pointed to what happened in Schenectady as an example.

“The police chief in Schenectady took a knee with the protestors, it’s hard to think of a more powerful statement,” Lieberman said.

Lawmakers are discussing legislation such as repealing 50a, a law that shields the disciplinary records of officers.

But in the meantime, with more protests planned for this week, Senator Myrie says he is still encouraging people to go out and peacefully make their voices heard.  

“Yes it makes us uncomfortable, but that is the point. Yes it is disruptive, but that is the point. The very point of having a disruption and doing things that are outside of the status quo so that you can get to that justice. So I would encourage people to continue to peacefully march,” Myrie said.

Further legislation is expected to be acted on in the state legislature next week.