Protests begin at several locations around San Diego County

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego police were observing protesters at three locations around the county Saturday, while Supervisor Nathan Fletcher called for the removal of all National Guard troops from the county.

At 10:45 a.m., the San Diego Police Department tweeted, “Protests are occurring and we are at each one ensuring a safe environment.”

The police department said about 3,000 people were at the County Administration Center, about 100 people were at a protest on Texas Street and Adams Avenue, and a Del Mar Heights event had a crowd of about 300.

“Our roadways will be busy all day so everyone, please be extra careful,” the police department said.

Meanwhile, Fletcher called for the removal of the National Guard from San Diego.

Fletcher tweeted, “We need to focus on efforts around authentic dialogue, uplifting the voices of the peaceful protestors and driving substantive change to address the problem of systemic racism. These protests are peaceful and the presence of the National Guard only escalates the situation.

“While there are times, particularly those around responding to natural disasters or humanitarian need, when the National Guard might be appropriate, this is not one of them,” he continued.

Outside the County Administration Building, protesters gathered Saturday for a demonstration against racism and police brutality as National Guard troops and San Diego police stood near the building.

At 10 a.m., protesters observed eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence in memory of George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man who died in Minneapolis on Memorial Day after a white officer pressed his knee to his neck for more than eight minutes.

The four officers who handled the arrest were all fired and later charged with crimes. Derek Chauvin, the officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second-degree murder. J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Critics have spotlighted Floyd’s death as an illustration of wider law enforcement abuses.

More demonstrations are expected in Chula Vista, Vista and Santee over the weekend.

On Saturday, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore tweeted, “All of Friday’s demonstrations in sheriff’s department jurisdictions were peaceful. We will always support the public’s right to free speech and assembly. We encourage the peaceful gathering of people. We respect your right to be heard. Thank you.”

Categories: Local San Diego News