DETROIT (WWJ) – Protesters staged a so-called “die-in” at Campus Martius in downtown Detroit Thursday in response to a grand jury’s decision not to indict a New York City police officer in the killing of Eric Garner.

The few dozen participants laid down on the ground as if they were dead, demonstrating in honor of Garner, a 43-year-old black man who was killed after being placed in a chokehold when he was confronted by police on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes on July 17.

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“Well, I wanted to be here because, as a black male in America, this is something that’s been taking place for a long time,” protester Justin Strayhorn told WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas. “And unfortunately it’s taken these recent events to put the national spotlight on this epidemic.”

While most braved the cold pavement, at least one woman rolled out a yoga mat.

Macie Tuiasosopo stretched out on her back in a hot pink skirt suit and high heels.

“I mean, I’m the president of the ACLU Detroit chapter, but beyond that I always have stood for basic civil rights; and this is a basic civil rights issue in 2014,” Tuiasosopo said.

(credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

(credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

Macie Tuiasosopo participated in a protest in downtown Detroit laid down on the pavement as if they were dead,  demonstrating in honor of  Eric Garner. (credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

(credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)


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“I talked with some of the protesters — which by the way, a sizable number of black and white people here are saying they’ve had enough, and they’d like more people to join this protest, because it’s not about whether you’re black or white; but it’s a human issue,” reported Thomas from the scene.

Following the “die-in,” protesters began marching down the middle of Woodward Avenue to Wayne State University, accompanied by a police escort.

There were no arrests related to the demonstration, according to Detroit police.

(credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

(credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

(credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

(credit: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

Following a night of protests Tuesday, vigils and rallies were planned across the nation in connection to the Garner case.

Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that the U.S. Justice Department will conduct a federal investigation.

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Get more on the Eric Garner case on our site, CBS New York.