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Protesters took over Apple's iconic New York store to send a message about Eric Garner

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Andrew Burton/Getty Images

New Yorkers and people across the United States have united for the third day in a row in dramatic protests following the failure of state prosecutors and a grand jury to charge a police officer for killing Eric Garner: an unarmed man suspected of selling loose cigarettes. People across the political spectrum have expressed confusion, disbelief, and sadness over the injustice, and many are asking how a police officer who was caught on camera choking a man to death in broad daylight could be let completely off the hook without a trial. Garner's case is the latest in a long string of horrifying deaths at the hands of police.

Many of the protests taking place across the country since the shooting death of Michael Brown in Missouri have resulted in disruption of public places; protesters have shut down roads and highways in dozens of cities as a form of civil disobedience.

Tonight, protesters staged one of the most symbolic displays in months. Starting at around 6:30PM, a rally formed at Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan. Activists flooded the store and staged a "die in" for four and a half minutes.

The images are compelling in their incongruity. Apple is renowned for its carefully managed brand image: its futuristic stores exemplify sleek ideas about a materialistic, affluent future. But tonight that image was taken over by the traumatic reality of life outside Apple's perfect glass cube. As Joshua Kopstein pointed out, the contrast is striking.