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Police, S.I. Businesses and Residents Prepare for Garner Rally

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The New York City Police Department, along with businesses and residents in the North Shore section of Staten Island, are preparing in advance of Saturday's rally in honor of Eric Garner, which is expected to draw thousands of people.

The "We Will Not Go Back" march is set to begin at noon at Victory Boulevard and Bay Street.

Marchers will then make their way to the Staten Island district attorney's office on Stuyvesant Place before wrapping up with a rally at Richmond Terrace and Hamilton Avenue.

Many local businesses are planning to close as a precaution.

The Staten Island Chamber of Commerce sent a flier to dozens of merchants this week warning them that "there is no guarantee everyone in attendance will act sensibly."

Chamber officials say the letter was not meant to scare business owners or discourage them from staying open.

Teriza Ebid, who owns a Halal food truck in Tompkinsville, says she cannot afford to lose any business but the potential for problems from the nearby Eric Garner rally could be more damaging.

"Maybe they're gonna do something like broken cars hit the people we don't know what's gonna happen," Ebid said.

At the nearby Above D'Grain Barber Shop, employees admit they are a little nervous but have not decided whether or not to open Saturday.

"It's a tense situation you never know what's gonna happen, the feeling is you hope it turns out to be a good one," said Barbershop Manager Will Ceddle.

The rally comes as Garner's family is renewing its call for federal prosecutors to get involved in the case.

His widow joined Al Sharpton on Thursday for a meeting with U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in Brooklyn.

They say Lynch was very open to their concerns but did not immediately decide if she would look into the case.

Garner died on July 17 after being placed in an alleged chokehold while police were trying to arrest him for illegally selling cigarettes.

Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan says he will present evidence to a grand jury.

Sharpton says he expects three to five thousand people to take part in Saturday's rally.

Meantime, the man who shot the video that put the Garner case in the spotlight has made bail on gun charges, according to his cousin.

Ramsey Orta, 22, was arrested a few weeks after Garner's death.

Police said officers saw him tucking a handgun into the waistband of a 17-year-old girl.

He pleaded not guilty to criminal possession of an unloaded firearm

Orta is due back in court on September 5.

Street Closures

The following streets will be closed Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Drivers are advised to avoid these areas between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

• Bay Street from Hannah Street to Richmond Terrace
• Little Bay Street from Victory Boulevard to Bay Street
• Victory Boulevard from Jersey Street to Bay Street
• St. Mark’s Place from Victory Boulevard to Hyatt Street
• Stuyvesant Place from Bay Street to Wall Street
• Schuyler Street from Stuyvesant Place to Richmond Terrace
• Richmond Terrace from Bay Street to Westervelt Avenue
• Wall Street from St. Mark’s Place to Richmond Terrace
• Hamilton Avenue from Richmond Terrace to Stuyvesant Place

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