A week of protests throughout San Diego County over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer was capped Saturday with more demonstrations calling for law enforcement and other government institutions to change how they treat African Americans and all people of color.
“This is not a moment. This is a movement,” one man shouted into a microphone, as a large crowd estimated in the thousands blocked the intersection of University Avenue and Normal Street in Hillcrest around 1 p.m.
inewsource followed protesters that marched at least 12 miles from Hillcrest, into downtown, past the San Diego International Airport, to Liberty Station and finally back down Pacific Highway to the San Diego County Administration Building.
At times, the demonstrators shouted the names of African Americans killed by police — Floyd; Breonna Taylor, shot at her Louisville, Kentucky, home in March; and Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Cleveland boy shot while playing with a toy gun in 2014.
And they chanted, “I can’t breathe!” ― the final words of Floyd as well as Eric Garner, who died in 2014 after New York police used a chokehold while trying to arrest him on Staten Island.
Along the way, people walked outside their homes and workplaces to show support. Some left their cars while blocked in traffic to take video and cheer on the crowd. Others honked their horns in solidarity.
Chants of “keep going” and “this movement is bigger than us” spurred the crowd to keep marching in the heat. The high reached 71 at the airport Saturday.
By around 4 p.m., when the protesters reached Rosecrans Street at Liberty Station, the group’s numbers had dwindled. The several dozen who remained sat down and blocked the northbound lanes for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on Floyd’s neck before he died.
Meanwhile, some protesters finished their march at the County Administration Building, where California National Guard troops and county sheriff’s deputies stood watch.
As with the group on Rosecrans Street, this one observed eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence. The protesters sat or kneeled, with many raising their fists.
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