Massive Crowds Turn Out For ‘Black Trans Lives Matter’ Rally In Brooklyn

Thousands of protesters packed the courtyard of the Brooklyn Museum and surrounding parkway in New York City borough on Sunday in support of Black trans lives.

The rally began at about 1 p.m. local time in front of the museum, just a short walk East of Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza as activists made speeches emphasizing the importance of human rights for Black trans Lives, reports NBC News.

At around 3 p.m., attendees began to march north, led by event organizers and Black transgender women in front.

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute, The Okra Project, and Black Trans Femmes in the Arts all helped co-organized Sunday’s rally and march.

Some of the speakers included transgender activist Raquel Willis, author Ceyenne Doroshow, and the family of Layleen Polanco, a transgender woman who died last June after an epileptic seizure while in solitary confinement at Rikers Island jail.

Video obtained by NBC News Saturday revealed that guards attempted to wake her for approximately an hour and a half before calling for help.

“The video is the last piece of the puzzle,” David Shanies, an attorney for Polanco’s family in a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of New York and several Rikers staffers, told NBC News. “It’s the last bit of indifference to her life that we saw and recklessness to a person who obviously needed help.”

The rally also comes just days after two Black transgender women were killed in Ohio and Pennsylvania, each of which are being investigated as homicides.