Sandy Alt wanted the bright lights to go away.

She was one of the dozens of neighbors who were unwillingly swept up in the protests. The spotlight police set up to illuminate the Fourth Precinct station during the protest shone into a second-story bedroom and kept her great-great-nephew, 4 months old, awake.

There were other inconveniences. The alley behind her house on Morgan Avenue N. was sealed off, under police orders, by a concrete barricade. The only way in and out was down another, narrower alley that opened onto N. 12th Avenue. Parking became a problem.

Several times a night, she was awakened by a loud commotion coming from the encampment across the street. She barely got any sleep and missed a week of work, she said.

The acrid smell of smoke from a half a dozen fires at the demonstration lingered in the air.

Her qualm, she insisted, was with the protest methods, not the cause itself.

Her nephew, Draper Larkins had chanted and marched for Clark and was among the five men shot by a gunman on Nov. 23. Alt’s son also took part in the protest, helping direct traffic and walking people back to their cars as the nights wore on.

“He thought he was doing his job as a citizen,” she said, “to protect women and children if anything goes down.”

But it was time for the protest to end, she said. She welcomes a return to normalcy.

“Justice is going to get served,” Alt said.

Story by Libor Jany