Revelers welcome in the New Year as they watch the famous ball drop in New York's Times Square. Rough Cut (No Reporter Narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Hundreds of thousands of revelers packed New York's Times Square for the city's annual New Year's Eve festivities, this year marked by heightened security and protests over police use of force. While security is always tight in Times Square on New Year's Eve, especially since the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, extra precautions were put in place on Wednesday (December 31) to prevent violence at the famed midtown Manhattan crossroads. The year 2014 was marked by months of protests over the deaths of two unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers in Missouri and New York. With chilly below-freezing temperatures of approximately 18 degrees fahrenheit (-8 celsius) the revelers braced for hours under tight security to watch the ball descend the mast atop 1 Times Square as the the crowd counted down to 2015. In keeping with tradition, Mayor Bill de Blasio with his family and others by his side presided over the ball drop in Times Square, pressing a ceremonial button that sent the sphere on its descent. After the ball ushered in the New Year, confetti rained on the celebrating crowd. Couples kissed to the music of Frank Sinatra singing 'New York, New York'. About 100 people protesting excessive police force assembled just south of Times Square several hours before midnight and began weaving up city sidewalks toward the packed New Year's festivities but they were stopped from entering the square by police and barricades. But all was peaceful in the square just after midnight as fun-seekers, many of whom were enclosed inside metal-gated corrals set up to control a throng that officials estimated could reach 1 million people despite frigid weather, roared in celebration against a backdrop of fireworks.