Protests in New Jersey's largest city remain peaceful, calm

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Protests over the death of George Floyd have sparked violence and outrage in cities across the country -- but one big city has remained peaceful.

New Jersey's largest city has seen its share of protests over Floyd's death. On Saturday night, some 12,000 people hit the streets -- but there was very little vandalism.

Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said the city residents made their presence known and told agitators to leave.

The police were commended for being prepared but not aggressive.

The mayor's brother was in the crowd with his street ambassadors to keep an eye on troublemakers.

The city is still digging out from the riots of 1967 when much of the city was set ablaze -- but now it's a much different story. Today many people have pride in their city.

State officials have recognized the locations where things are calm. Now they want to do more to improve police and community relations.

Citing George Floyd's death, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Tuesday the state will update its guidelines governing the use of force by police for the first time in two decades and will move to require a statewide licensing program for all officers.

"To the thousands of New Jerseyans that assembled peacefully this week let me be clear: we hear you, we see you, we respect you, we share your anger and we share your commitment to change," Grewal said during a news conference alongside Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.

At least 43 other states require some licensing requirement for officers, Grewal said, adding he wants to bring law enforcement inline with other professions that require licensing, like doctors and lawyers.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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