In Lower Manhattan, marchers are rallying in a show of solidarity for Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri.
The rally takes place in the hours just after President Barack Obama said the attorney general will travel to Ferguson Wednesday to meet with officials about the investigation into the incident.
Obama said in addition to Eric Holder heading to Ferguson on Wednesday, other Justice Department officials schooled in community relations will go there Tuesday.
The protesters started their Manhattan rally in front of the NYPD headquarters.
Protesters are drawing parallels between the death of Brown and the death of Eric Garner, the Staten Island man who died last month after an officer put him in a chokehold for allegedly selling loose cigarettes.
"I'm out here to demonstrate solidarity with the Ferguson community that has been under occupation from a militarized police force. I'm here to protest against police brutality and systemic racism that plagues this country," said one protester.
The marchers have plans to march to City Hall.
The protests in Ferguson have turned violent over the last few days. Police have fired tear gas and smoke at crowds, and there have been injuries, looting and arrests.
The governor of Missouri has called in the National Guard to oversee the protests.
Obama wants the National Guard to be use in a limited and controlled matter.
He said the vast majority of protesters are peaceful.
"I understand the passions and the anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown," the president said. "Giving into that anger by looting or carrying guns and even attacking the police only serves to raise tensions and raise chaos. It undermines, rather than advancing, justice."
More than a week ago, a white police officer shot and killed Brown, 18.
Ferguson police had said Brown initiated the scuffle with the police officer in the patrol car, and there were also reports that he charged the officer.
However, a witness had said he was shot with his hands up.
Police then released images of a strong-arm robbery they believe Brown was responsible for, but the officer didn't know that at the time.
Brown's family believes police are trying to sully his name, so they brought in experts to conduct a private autopsy.
A former New York City chief medical examiner found that shots fired at Brown were at least one or two feet from him, and that he was hit by at least six bullets. One, in the top of the head, suggests that his head may have been tilted down.
"This is the last shot, and this is the only shot that is not treatable," said pathologist Michael Baden. "It went atop, and it went slightly to the front of the, from the middle of the brain to sort of the right side of the brain. Yes, it stayed in and was recovered."
In addition to that private autopsy, there will be a state and a federal autopsy. Obama said significant federal resources are going into a federal civil rights investigation.