Emotions boiled over during a rally marking the 10th anniversary of Aboriginal teen Thomas "TJ" Hickey's death, with police apprehending several people for carrying offensive signs.
About 200 supporters of TJ on Friday marched through inner Sydney to NSW parliament, demanding a government apology over his death and the reopening of an inquest.
TJ's mother Gail Hickey, her family and supporters symbolically placed a plaque at the fence where he died.
Ms Hickey also brought to the site the bicycle TJ was riding as he fled from police.
"It's a sad, sorry day," she told AAP.
"I've lost my only son."
She said she still has trouble sleeping and is often stressed.
Ms Hickey wants to see a plaque placed permanently on the fence where her son died.
Riots were sparked in the inner Sydney suburb of Redfern when the 17-year-old was thrown off his bike and impaled on a fence on February 14, 2004.
TJ's family and members of the indigenous community blame police for chasing the teenager to his death but an inquest later cleared the officers involved of any wrong-doing.
As the march came to an end in front of Parliament House, police took issue with a man who was carrying a sign which read "f*** the police".
Officers apprehended the man, along with two others, and tried to pull them away from the crowd.
The crowd then started chanting for the police to let them go and some accused officers of brutality.
Police released the men shortly afterwards, to cheers from the crowd.
Redfern police commander Detective Superintendent Luke Freudenstein later told reporters no one had been arrested.
He said police identified "three to five troublemakers" during the march, who may be charged with carrying offensive signs and pushing a police officer.
Greens state MP David Shoebridge said he found it remarkable that so many police officers had been assigned to the march.
Mr Freudenstein said 100 officers were monitoring the march but denied it was an excessive response.