'It's a new era.' - Protesters continue to take to the streets of LI 9 days after the death of George Floyd
More Long Island residents took to the streets of their communities in response to the death of George Floyd last week.
Protesters shut down a portion of the Montauk Highway once again around 8 p.m. and knelt for nine minutes while holding photos of Floyd.
MORE: LI protest photos
In Shirley, protesters stood outside since before 5 p.m., and police arrived a short time after and engaged with the crowd. Organizers say progress is already being made.
"The change isn't going to happen overnight. We need to be the change we are looking for and the only way to do that is together," says DeQuan Wilson.
Organizers met with Suffolk police Wednesday morning after Shirley's protests got of to a rough start.
"For the last few nights it's been rough as far as protesters in the streets stopping traffic. To go as far as a walk on Sunrise Highway, it wasn't our goal," says Wilson.
Wilson says he feel his voice was heard in that meeting and was happy to hear the voices of police chiefs as well.
"It's not the protesters versus the police. It's not we hate the cops. It's we need to find some common ground and we need to make a breakthrough," says Wilson.
Wilson says they are planning to hold their largest peaceful protest yet Friday at 5 p.m.
Dozens also lined Stewart Avenue in Bethpage with a clear message.
"We just want everyone to know that there is a problem so we're here peacefully protesting that Black Lives Matter," said one protester.
The demonstrations have continued across the Island every day, even now nine days since Floyd's police custody death.
"It's really important that this message gets spread because it's injustice that happens every day, and injustice that happens to one group of people," said another protester.
Many made their voices heard in Mineola as well. One protester said because they live in a predominantly white neighborhood, it's even more important to show they care for people of color.
At many protests in recent days, including another event Wednesday in Lindenhurst, a vast majority of those who came out were young people.
"It's not my first time protesting but it is different. It's the crowd, I guess it's generation Z," said Nicole Bey, of Lindenhurst. "Well they're not having it. It's different. It's a new era."
The protests came on the same day when charges for officer Derek Chauvin were upgraded and the other three officers involved were charged.
"At a certain point when these things keep happening, it can start to feel like no one cares," said Terrence Owen. "Seeing all these groups of people out here unify on one issue that we all see injustice in - it touches me."
The Lindenhurst group called We The People said they are in the process of planning another protest soon. The date and location is not yet known.
A protest in Bellmore also shut down parts of Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road Wednesday night. Police say the crowd was mostly dispersed by 9:40 p.m., and the roads were reopened shortly after.
There were no major incidents reported.