Live Blog: San Diego City Council Hears From Public Regarding Police Department Budget

Grandmother Shot By Projectile During Protest In La Mesa Speaks Out

– 10:27 a.m., June 10, 2020

Leslie Furcron, a grandmother shot with a projectile while protesting in La Mesa, holds a news conference in front of La Mesa City Hall with her family and attorney, Dante Pride.

RELATED: La Mesa Protester Shot By Police Projectile Released From Hospital

Man Charged With Having Molotov Cocktails At La Mesa Police Protest

– 6:50 p.m., June 9, 2020

A San Diego man who allegedly had Molotov cocktails in his possession at last month’s La Mesa police brutality protest is facing federal charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Zachary Alexander Karas, 28, is charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device for allegedly having two glass bottles containing gasoline and wicks while at the protest, which began May 30 and carried over into the morning of May 31.

According to the charging document, officers spotted Karas and his girlfriend sitting on the pavement at the corner of Allison Avenue and Spring Street at around 2 a.m. May 31.

Karas was arrested for not leaving the area after dispersal orders were given by law enforcement, following the declaration of an unlawful assembly, according to the complaint.

In an interview with law enforcement, Karas allegedly said “he brought the Molotov cocktails to the protest at the police station because he intended to use the Molotov cocktails to set fires, but ultimately did not cause any fires.”

Fires were set at the Chase and Union Bank branches and Randall Lamb Associates building near the site of the protest, but the complaint does not allege Karas set any of the fires sparked following the protest.

“The Constitution strongly protects the First Amendment right of all to speak out and peacefully protest,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “My office is committed to protecting that First Amendment right.

“Violence, however, by a relatively small number of opportunists who sought to wreak havoc, destroy property, and threaten the safety of peaceful protesters will not be tolerated.” —City News Service

Woman Shot In Head With Bean Bag Round At La Mesa Protest Released From Hospital

– 3:30 p.m., June 9, 2020

A La Mesa woman who was shot in the head by a law enforcement projectile during a police protest last month was released from the hospital Tuesday.

Leslie Furcron, 59, was hospitalized in an intensive-care unit in a medically induced coma after she was struck in the forehead with a bean bag round on the night of May 30. Cellphone video and photographs that went viral show Furcron lying on the ground, blood streaming down her face, amid shouting demonstrators attending the protest against police brutality.

Furcron’s family, as well as their attorney Dante Pride, have called for the officer involved to be fired and criminally charged.

La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez said last week that the incident remains under investigation. — City News Service

San Diego City Council Hears From Public Regarding Police Department Budget

– 4:50 p.m., June 8, 2020

Following another weekend of largely peaceful protests against police brutality, the San Diego City Council heard public comments Monday — both written and telephoned in — from hundreds of residents urging the council to reject a proposed $27 million increase in the budget for the San Diego Police Department.

The majority of callers asked for the police to be defunded, with funds going toward marginalized and vulnerable communities instead. Speakers asked for the money to be used for homeless outreach, mental health services, racial equity commissions and rent-assistance programs, among myriad other ideas.

WATCH here:

Councilwoman Monica Montgomery said she will propose an Office on Race and Equity to address some of the concerns the citizens voiced with policing.

“As elected officials, we must honestly and genuinely address the root causes of the local protests — the inequity in enforcement and the systemic racism that is prevalent in our region,” she said. “From the beginning of my administration, I have championed a holistic approach to reform measures, including economic justice components. This new Office on Race and Equity is another step in the right direction, along with other reform measures.”

For several hours, the number of callers waiting to speak to the council exceeded the phone line’s capacity, with many having to wait before they could even call in to wait in a queue to speak. At 1 p.m., the city’s phone system crashed and the council took a break to get it running again. – City News Service

Attorneys Lead Protest Against Police Brutality, Racism In Downtown San Diego

– 1:38 p.m., Monday, June 8, 2020

A group of attorneys and staff from Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., led a march downtown Monday afternoon to protest against police brutality and systemic racism.

The march started outside the Federal Defenders’ office on Broadway downtown and ended in the courtyard of the federal courthouse, directly across the street from the Hall of Justice.

– City News Service

Protesters March Against Police Brutality And Racism In Santee

– Updated 10:15 p.m., June 7, 2020

Nearly a thousand protesters gathered Sunday afternoon in Santee to march against police brutality and racism.

“We’re here to show support for the movement because I feel like all my black friends,” said Jodi, a local resident who attended with her 9- and 7-year-old. “In the past all of the black community fought for civil rights, and those are my rights too and so they need us,”

Two demonstrations took place in Santee. The first one — which kicked off with the Cupid Shuffle dance near West Hills Park — was organized by Santee residents Tasha Cassidy and Alana Ethridge, both 23.

They said they arranged the march “to spread love, peace and to say black lives matter.”

They also added that they want to counter the stereotype of Santee.

“There’s a stigma of Santee being racist,” said Ethridge, an African American. “We want unity and diversity in our town. We grew up here. And that’s not going to happen if people say Santee is a racist town.”

A second protest followed, with a bigger group of people marching to the Santee sheriff’s department.

The group of what could’ve been more than 1000 heard from coordinators and 83-year-old Richard Lawrence. He walked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr during the 1965 march in Selma, Alabama.

“The tide has turned in this country. And if we stay on our feet and stay alive, we will see to it that the tide stays out on injustice,” said Lawrence.

The group left flowers at the sheriff’s station and honored George Floyd with nine minutes of silence, which is how long a Minneapolis officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck. The protesters then marched back to their starting point.

Later, sheriff’s deputies raced to a Target store along the group’s route where the demonstrators had encountered an opposing group. All eventually left and no arrests were made.

Joining Sunday’s protests was the San Diego Street Medic Collective, which provided first aid, snacks and water to the demonstration. – KPBS Staff

Sunday Evening Protest Briefly Shuts Down University Avenue In Hillcrest

– 9:45 p.m., June 7, 2020

In Hillcrest, a protest march began around 7:45 p.m. near University Avenue and Richmond Street, near a McDonald’s restaurant. Protesters marched west on University, taking up both lanes and blocking traffic around 8:45 p.m., according to San Diego police.

Shortly after 9 p.m., the group blocked the intersection of 10th Street and University, then headed east on the westbound lane of University, officials said.

Around 9:15 p.m., the police department tweeted that the group had mostly dispersed.

RELATED: Ninth Day Of Protests Ends With Mostly Peaceful Demonstrations

— City News Service— City News Service

Imperial Beach Mayor Requests An Investigation Into Attack On Protesters

– 8:15 p.m., June 7, 2020

Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina requested Sunday that the San Diego Sheriff’s Department investigate an attack on peaceful protesters and deem the incident a hate crime.

The Imperial Beach protest was one of many demonstrations throughout San Diego county on Sunday, which opposed racism, inequality within the justice system and police brutality against people of color.

The incident occurred Sunday afternoon at the Imperial Beach Pier Plaza during a peaceful protest, Dedina said over Twitter.

On behalf behalf of the @CityofIB I request that the @SDSheriff investigate the violent assault on peaceful protestors at the Imperial Beach Pier Plaza this afternoon. We cannot allow the ugly legacy of violent racism and white supremacy to continue in our beach city.

— Serge Dedina (@Serge4IBMayor) June 8, 2020

“We cannot allow the ugly legacy of violent racism and white supremacy to continue in our beach city,” the mayor wrote.

No further information was provided regarding the attack and the sheriff’s department was unavailable for comment as of Sunday evening. — City News Service

National Guard Withdraws From San Diego

– 7:20 p.m., June 7, 2020

The California National Guard is withdrawing from San Diego.

The 7,100 guard troops that mobilized in the wake of George Floyd’s death are now being recalled. The guard had arrived in San Diego Wednesday evening, after a weekend that included violence.

“I am extremely proud of the professionalism and dedication to duty the soldiers and airmen of the California Guard exemplified on the streets of California protecting the First Amendment rights of all citizens during these extremely trying times,” said California National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. David Baldwin. — Reporter Steve Walsh

Protests Against Police Brutality Continue Around San Diego County

– 1:30 p.m., June 7, 2020

Peaceful demonstrations, marches and other events to protest racism, inequality in the justice system and police brutality against people of color are scheduled Sunday throughout the county.

— In Chula Vista, a Black Lives Matter protest is planned for 2 p.m. at Chula Vista Community Park, 1060 Eastlake Parkway. A march may follow on Eastlake Parkway between Corte Vista and Miller drive.

— In Santee, a peaceful protest is planned from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the corner of West Hills Parkway and Mast Boulevard. Another protest and march will start at 3 p.m. at the Cameron Family YMCA at 10123 Riverwalk Drive. Protesters will march to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department at 8811 Cuyamaca St. and return to the YMCA at 6 p.m.

— In Poway, a Black Lives Matter march will begin at 3 p.m. at the Poway thrift shops near 12845 Poway Road.

— In Cardiff, a protest is scheduled for 5 p.m. in the Cardiff river mouth beach parking lot. At 2 p.m., a rally with doctors, nurses and health care workers will be at the Cardiff Kook.

— In Pacific Beach, a gathering is planned to start at 5 p.m. in the Trader Joe’s parking lot on Garnet Avenue and Ingraham Street. Protesters will then march to the beach.

— In La Jolla, a gathering celebrating black culture is planned for 2 p.m. in Kellogg Park.

Hundreds of Cars Caravan Through San Diego County To Protest Police Violence

– 8:30 p.m., June 6, 2020

A caravan of hundreds of cars traveled throughout San Diego County on Saturday to protest police brutality and racial injustice against people of color. The event was organized by Black Lives Matter San Diego.

The caravan started in La Jolla in the morning, before heading to Santee, City Heights, National City and then the Otay Mesa Detention Facility. As they drove across the county, passengers held signs outside car windows and drivers honked car horns.

Hundreds and hundreds of cars are part of a caravan right now in City Heights, marking places where people have become victims of police violence. This started several hours ago in La Jolla and is heading to South Bay. @KPBSnews pic.twitter.com/YcnUcmW6Te

— Max RN (@MaxRivlinNadler) June 6, 2020

Organizers say the caravan purposefully visited various sites across San Diego County where people of color have experienced instances of police violence.

Robert Miller came to watch the caravan in National City with his wife and two young daughters. His daughter held up a sign that said “My Dad Matters.”

“Everybody is here saying, ‘Justice,’ ‘Black Lives Matter,’ so we’re feeling the inclusion,” Miller said. “I see everybody from every different color, race, ethnicity, doesn’t matter where you’re from, everyone is out here to celebrate the same things, that’s black lives and justice more importantly.”

The scene right now outside of the Otay Mesa Dentention Center, where hundreds of cars continue their caravan to protest police violence against black people. ICE detainees are just a few hundred feet away. @KPBSnews pic.twitter.com/BeeeEYipYl

— Max RN (@MaxRivlinNadler) June 7, 2020

As of 7:30 p.m, protesters had arrived at the Otay Mesa Detention Center, where they did a circle in front of the ICE detention center before dispersing. – Max-Rivlin Nadler, KPBS Staff

Protesters Call For End Of Police Violence, More Resources For Black Communities In Rally Downtown, March To Pride Flag

– 3:30 p.m., June 6, 2020

A protest filled Waterfront Park in front of the County Administration Building on Saturday morning to call for reform to end police violence and the reallocation of resources to help black communities.

Around 11 a.m., after an hour-long rally, the group marched up to Hillcrest. The march stretched for several blocks along University Avenue, as protesters continued to voice the need for change in policing across the country.

A brass band accompanied the group. Speakers set up under the Pride Flag in Hillcrest at the conclusion of the march, to continue the “positive” momentum that had been building throughout the day.

“Day protests is night and day with night protests,” said Bobby, who did not want his last name used. “It’s great because it shows the younger generation that it’s OK to do this and it’s OK to spread positivity.

The 21-year-old told KPBS he is an EMT and worked as a street medic at other protests this week.

The event was not endorsed by the Black Lives Matter movement because of its coordination and permitting by the police department. Instead, BLM led a car caravan to sites of police violence across the county. — Max Rivlin-Nadler

Downtown San Diego Protest Becomes A March

–12:30 p.m., June 6, 2020

A protest in front of the County Administration Building turned into a downtown march Saturday morning. Shortly before noon, the San Diego Police Department tweeted that a large group of peaceful protestors had begun to march onto Ash Street, with plans to head north on 6th toward Hillcrest. The department also tweeted that it would be closing streets to allow the march to continue.

Police are also monitoring a protest caravan. It was planned for noon at the Torrey Pines Gliderport, according to organizers.

The gathering is a “moving protest” put on by Black Lives Matter, with plans to head to La Jolla, Las Colinas Detention Center, El Cajon, Hillcrest, National City, and ending in San Diego.

Also at noon at Civic Center Park in Vista, a protest called “100 Mothers March for Criminal Justice Reform” was expected to include mothers from across Southern California. Organizations participating include Mothers Against Police Brutality; Mothers Against Racism in America; and Mothers Against Criminal Injustices.

Earlier Saturday at Tourmaline Beach, hundreds of surfers gathered on the shore and in the water to “Paddle for Peace.” The event’s flyer said, “It is important that we lead with kindness and come together as a community full of love and support.”

In Chula Vista, police officials said they are aware of a planned peace rally in the Memorial Park area. The organizers plan to remain in the park while they play music and worship. — CNS and KPBS Staff

Protests Begin At Three Locations Around San Diego County

–11:45 a.m., June 6, 2020

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.

At about 10:17 a.m., the police said the large group of 3,000 peaceful protesters began to march onto Ash Street.

“They will be going north on Sixth Avenue towards Hillcrest,” police said. “We will be temporarily closing numerous streets to allow the march to continue.”

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.”—City News Service

Anti-Police-Brutality Protests Continue Across San Diego Area Friday Night

– 8:45 a.m., June 6, 2020

Groups of demonstrators hit the streets in the San Diego area for another day Friday, marching, chanting and holding protest signs aloft to honor the memory of George Floyd and to demand racial equity and an end to excessive force in the nation’s policing.

Rallies began in Carlsbad and Escondido in the mid-afternoon, with gatherings later in the day in Oceanside, San Diego and other communities.

There were no reports of violence or arrests in connection with the protests as of 2:30 p.m.

Though police use-of-force demonstrations in La Mesa and downtown San Diego last weekend devolved into looting and rioting after dark, daily protests since Sunday have remained largely peaceful, resulting in few arrests and only minor acts of vandalism.

Nonetheless, some 200 members of the California National Guard were deployed this week to the county in an attempt to prevent any recurrences of destructive chaos, with about half of the personnel sent to La Mesa.—City News Service

Charges Dropped In Amaurie Johnson Case In La Mesa

– 6:30 p.m., June 5, 2020

La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez announced after a full review of the evidence, the police department will not pursue prosecution in the case of Amaurie Johnson, a 23-year-old black man arrested on May 27 at an apartment complex near the Grossmont Trolley Station.

Photo caption:

After the arrest, video of Johnson’s interaction with police circulated on social media. Officer Matt Dages is shown shoving Johnson onto a public bench and arresting him on charges of assaulting and resisting a police officer.

Residents criticized the incident as an example of excessive force, wrongful arrest and police discrimination towards African Americans. Body cam footage released by the La Mesa Police Department on Wednesday revealed no other details about what occurred before the arrest. There appears to be no evidence of Johnson assaulting an officer on the body cam footage. — Reporter Joe Hong

Post Office Temporarily Moves La Mesa Services Due To Protests

– 9:15 p.m., June 5, 2020

The U.S. Postal Service has moved retail and PO box services from the La Mesa Station located at 8064 Allison Ave. in La Mesa until further notice “out of an abundance of caution.”

Customers with PO boxes can pick up mail at the Grossmont Post Office at 5500 Grossmont Center Dr. Retail services are also available there, as well as at La Mesa Annex at 6055 Lake Murray Blvd. — KPBS Reporter Claire Trageser

Extended Curfew In Effect In Santee

– 5:12 p.m., June 5, 2020

The City of Santee has a curfew in effect Friday night from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Photo caption:

The curfew applies to areas located to the south of Mast Boulevard (including all of Mast Boulevard), east of Carlton Hills Boulevard (including all of Carlton Hills Boulevard), west of Magnolia Avenue (including all of Magnolia Avenue itself) and north of Highway 52.

“During this curfew, it is unlawful for any person to be on a public street, sidewalk, or public place within the City of Santee. This includes walking, bicycle, skateboard, scooter, motorcycle, automobile, or public transit. All law enforcement, fire, medical personnel, and members of the news media are exempt from the curfew, as are individuals traveling directly to and from work, seeking emergency care, fleeing dangerous circumstances, or experiencing homelessness,” the press release said.

— KPBS Staff

Anti-Police-Brutality Protests Continue Across San Diego Area

– 3:31 p.m., June 5, 2020

Groups of demonstrators hit the streets in the San Diego area for a seventh straight day Friday, marching, chanting and holding protest signs aloft to honor the memory of George Floyd and to demand racial equity and an end to excessive force in the nation’s policing.

Rallies began in Carlsbad and Escondido in the mid-afternoon, with similar gatherings expected to materialize in Oceanside, San Diego and other communities later in the day, authorities said.

There were no reports of violence or arrests in connection with the protests as of 2:30 p.m.

Though police use-of-force demonstrations in La Mesa and downtown San Diego last weekend devolved into looting and rioting after dark, daily protests since Sunday have remained largely peaceful, resulting in few arrests and only minor acts of vandalism.

Nonetheless, some 200 members of the California National Guard were deployed this week to the county in an attempt to prevent any recurrences of destructive chaos, with about half of the personnel sent to La Mesa. – City News Service

California governor ends police training in ‘sleeper hold’

– 12:58 p.m., June 5, 2020

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered the state police training program to stop teaching officers how to use a hold that can block the flow of blood to the brain.

Newsom, a Democrat, took the action after two weeks of protests across the country prompted by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Floyd died on Memorial Day after a police officer put his knee on his neck for several minutes.

Since then, some police departments have moved to end the use of carotid holds that stop or slow the flow of blood to the brain. Newsom said that hold has no place in the 21st Century. Read more. – Associated Press

LIVE: Governor Newsom holds a press conference following meetings throughout the state with community, faith and youth leaders, small business owners and elected officials this week on racism, systemic injustice and how we move forward as a state. https://t.co/ivwCEwzcHn

— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) June 5, 2020

Carlsbad Police Adopt “8 Can’t Wait” Force-Reduction Policies

– 1:21 p.m., June 5, 2020

The Carlsbad Police Department announced today that it has enacted all eight policies recommended by the creators of a national campaign designed to prevent excessive use of force on the part of law enforcement personnel.

The “8 Can’t Wait” program, created by anti-police-brutality agency Campaign Zero, has gained national attention from Los Angeles to New York for its simple, customizable message. According to the organization, the institutional changes list can decrease police violence by 72%.

The policies are:

— banning chokeholds;

— requiring de-escalation tactics;

— requiring warning before shooting;

— exhausting all other means before shooting;

— requiring other officers to intervene in the event of excessive force;

— banning shooting at vehicles;

— requiring use of “force continuum,” or a reasonable amount of force for a situation; and

— requiring comprehensive reporting on use-of-force incidents.

According to officials in the coastal city, the Carlsbad Police Department already had many of the policies, or similar ones in place and employs officers with special expertise in preventing violence during interactions with crime suspects and other members of the public. — City News Service

Thousands Protest In Hillcrest, North Park On George Floyd’s Memorial Service

– 9:40 p.m., June 4, 2020

An estimated 2,000 people took to the streets Thursday evening — the day of George Floyd’s memorial service — to protest against police brutality and racial injustice.

“Crowd is one of the biggest we’ve had but very peaceful,” the SDPD tweeted about 6 p.m.

The protest started in the afternoon in downtown San Diego, where protesters then marched to Balboa Park to make their way through to Hillcrest before ending up at University Avenue and Park Boulevard. Then, protesters turned around and headed back toward downtown.

Rashanna Lee, 23, is one of the organizers supporting youth who started the demonstration.

“I’m here because of course I support the end of police brutality. I support defunding the police,” said Lee. “And I think defunding the police is a fundamental step to re-enriching the communities because we can redirect those funds in San Diego.”

The protest was peaceful and largely led by young people.

Around 10 p.m. only a handful of protesters remained downtown. Organizers called on the crowd to end the protest peacefully and disperse.

San Diego Police Department Sergeant Cory Mapston told KPBS Thursday night that “it’s been generally peaceful,” and that there “haven’t been any mass arrests or significant incidents.”

Protest Held in Chula Vista, Another Planned Outside SDPD Headquarters; Authorities Monitoring ‘Gun Squad’ In Carlsbad

– 4 p.m., June 4, 2020

A group of protesters gathered outside Chula Vista Community Park Thursday afternoon, one of several demonstrations planned Thursday throughout the county to honor George Floyd.

The Black Lives Matter protest started around 2 p.m., and was slated to include a march around the Eastlake community, according to a flier posted on social media.

A group of uniformed officers was seen kneeling with the protesters at one point during the afternoon event.

In North County, a demonstration was planned in Oceanside near City Hall, while in San Diego, a youth-led group planned to gather at 5 p.m. outside San Diego police headquarters at 1401 Broadway, then march toward North Park and back.

Fliers promoting that protest state a list of demands from the group, which include banning the use of “military grade weapons on unarmed protesters,” firing the La Mesa police officer who arrested 23-year-old Amaurie Johnson near the Grossmont Trolley station last week, and reforming police practices to prevent the deaths of detainees and other citizens.

The San Diego protest is being led by “a group of black youths in San Diego,” according to the flier, which reads, “Please come at your own risk, as demonstrated at previous protests, the police are not afraid to engage in hostile tactics, but please come only if you are planning to participate in peaceful congregation and protests. The organizers do not condone looting, fighting or setting fires. Bring signs, wear a mask and come prepared.” *

In Carlsbad, an investigation was underway into a social media posting in which a young man claims to be putting together a “gun squad” to attack anyone taking part in “looting and anarchy” during police brutality protests in that city.

“Come with guns,” the unidentified man says in the video while pacing around shirtless, apparently in a bedroom or home office. “Come with Mace. Come with batons — whatever the (expletive) you got. Anyone who tries to break into a store, watch them (expletive) suffer. Let’s (expletive) go!”

Late Thursday morning, the Carlsbad Police Department announced that it was looking into the online posting.

“Thank you to all who have reported to us (the) video and messaging encouraging violence toward protestors,” the agency stated on Twitter. “We are actively investigating. We take all threats of violence seriously and violence of any sort will not be tolerated.”

The man in the video, claiming that a three-day demonstration is scheduled to begin in Carlsbad this weekend and is “probably gonna turn into a riot,” boasts that he has coordinated with police in his supposed plan to protect the coastal city and that “veterans” have agreed to join in the planned crackdown.

“Got some good news,” he says. “Anyone who’s down, who (wants) to join this gun squad … (for) protecting the city, let me know.”

A text statement that precedes the video reads, in part: “If I see looting and anarchy I will pull triggers. Terrorists are now outnumbering police.” — City News Service

SD Sheriff Justifies Calling National Guard; County GOP Issues Support Of Law Enforcement

– 12:35 p.m., June 4, 2020

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore on Thursday defended his decision to call in the National Guard.

In a statement, he said while his department respects people’s right to protest, the guards were called to prepare for any demonstrations that may escalate into riots.

“We saw this happen in La Mesa (last) Saturday … when several businesses were looted and damaged, including two banks, which burned to the ground. La Mesa City Hall also sustained fire damage as rioters broke in and tried to burn it down,” he said in a statement.

Gore said deputies were not prepared and did not have enough resources to stop the looting and vandalism in La Mesa last Saturday and he won’t “let that happen again.”

Also on Thursday, The Republican Party of San Diego issued a statement in support of law enforcement, who stands “between a civilized society and chaos every day.”

Party chairman Tony Krvaric said the men and women in blue put their lives on the line every day to keep “law abiding citizens safe.”

“Though America isn’t perfect — no country is — the pursuit for a more perfect union depends on all of us operating within the basic norms of civilized society,” Krvaric said in a statement. “Those who choose to operate outside of those norms must be dealt with swiftly and brought to justice — or chaos will ensue.”

15 Law Enforcement Agencies Throughout County Announce End To Carotid Restraint

– 8 a.m., June 4, 2020

Fifteen San Diego-area law enforcement agencies have announced that they will halt their use of the so-called carotid restraint, a compliance technique that renders uncooperative detainees unconscious but can prove deadly if performed improperly.

Those agencies include: police departments in Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Coronado, El Cajon, Escondido, La Mesa, National City, Oceanside and San Diego, as well as the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and San Diego Harbor Police.

Police departments at San Diego State University and University of California San Diego also announced an end to the use of the carotid restraint, along with the San Diego Community College Police Department and the San Diego Unified School District Police Department.

The agencies announced the decision in a joint statement Wednesday night. — City News Service

200 National Guard Troops Coming To San Diego At Sheriff’s Request

– 10:21 p.m., June 3, 2020

Two hundred members of the California National Guard are arriving in San Diego County after a request from the Sheriff’s Department.

Lt. Tim Matzkiw, a Sheriff’s Department watch commander, initially told KPBS Wednesday evening that all of the troops are in San Diego but later he clarified that some may still be en route. Matzkiw said they have not been deployed yet but half will be assigned to La Mesa while the other 100 will be placed elsewhere in the county.

They will provide “force protection,” such as providing security at courthouses and other public buildings but will not be making any arrests, Matzkiw said.

The La Mesa Police Department posted on social media that National Guard troops will be present in La Mesa this evening.

Faith Leaders Hold Vigil In Southeast San Diego

– 8 p.m., June 3, 2020

Photo caption:

Local clergy and faith leaders joined San Diego City Council Member Monica Montgomery Wednesday for a prayer vigil at sunset on the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.

They called for reflection, public expressions of love and that protesters across the globe achieve their goal of fundamentally changing policing in America.

They said the country is once again at a breaking point, where people of faith must come together to push the nation on a path towards justice.

“I [had to] to tell my 5-year-old son that ‘Son, we’re in critical times, times where people don’t really love like Jesus teaches us to love,’” Nate Stewart, the lead pastor at Greater Life Church in southeast San Diego, told the crowd of about 100 people. “As one of many great faith leaders, we stand in this community for change, and for justice for all.”

Ismahan Abdullahi, the executive director of the Muslim-American Society, said she believes that it’s racism that helps keep people divided, while faith can bring them together.

“As a Muslim woman, as an individual who has been impacted by Islamaphobia, as a refugee who has been impacted by xenophobia, let me tell you when folks see me, they see the color of my skin,” Abdullahi said.

Montgomery, who represents the area, said that while this wasn’t a political rally, she would be working in the city council to address the needs of a community in pain.

“We as America, we as California, we as San Diego, have to look at our original sin. We have to turn away and repent from that,” Montgomery said. “And until we do that, buildings will burn.”

San Diego-Area Protests Against Police Brutality Continue For Sixth Day

– 5:25 p.m., June 3, 2020

For a sixth straight day, protesters calling for an end to police brutality demonstrated in the San Diego area Wednesday, joining like-minded activists taking part in rallies across the United States following the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

About 2 p.m., several dozen people assembled near Mira Mesa Recreation Center on New Salem Street to call for justice and change in the aftermath of Floyd’s May 25 death. There were no reports of disturbances or violence at the gathering, SDPD public-affairs Officer Scott Lockwood said.

Shortly before 3 p.m., more than 100 mostly young protesters congregated near a strip mall at Pomerado and Twin Peaks roads in Poway, chanting “no justice, no peace” and “black lives matter,” and carrying signs reading “I can’t breathe,” quoting Floyd’s dying words.

After about a half-hour, the demonstrators moved into the adjacent intersection, knelt and sat on the pavement, lifted their fists in the air and fell silent for about nine minutes — the length of time a Minneapolis police officer pinned Floyd’s neck to the ground with his knee while three other officers watched as the handcuffed Texas native gasped for breath and called out to his deceased mother.

Around midday, the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association announced that it was canceling Wednesday afternoon’s planned farmers’ market — which was due to reopen for the first time after being closed for weeks due to the coronavirus crisis — due to another police-violence protest planned to take place in the coastal town later in the day. — City News Service

Curfews Extended For La Mesa, El Cajon

– 5:15 p.m., June 3, 2020

The emergency curfew order has been extended for the following cities.

  • La Mesa: 7 p.m. Wednesday to 5:30 a.m. Monday, June 8
  • El Cajon: 7 p.m. Monday to 5:30 a.m. Tuesday

People traveling to and from work and people who are experiencing homelessness are exempt.

WATCH: Mayor Faulconer To Give Update, Invite San Diegans To Join In Public Forums On Police Relations

– 4:30 p.m., June 3, 2020

San Diego Sheriff Stops Use Of Carotid Restraints

– 4 p.m., June 3, 2020

After pushing back on banning the practice of using carotid restraints, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore on Wednesday said his department will immediately stop using the controversial technique.

In a carotid restraint, an officer compresses a person’s carotid arteries, which are on either side of the neck, causing a person to lose consciousness.

“In light of community concerns, and after consultation with many elected officials throughout the county, I am stopping the use of the carotid restraint by my deputies effective immediately,” Gore said in a statement. “I have and always will listen to any feedback about the public safety services we provide.”

On Monday, Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego police Chief David Nisleit announced that the San Diego Police Department would immediately stop using the hold.

Gore had called the decision a mistake.

“I’m reluctant to take that technique away from my deputies and force them into maybe a more, a higher use of force which will cause lasting damage to the suspect we’re taking into custody,” Gore told KPBS on Tuesday.

The Racial Justice Coalition San Diego has renewed its call for law enforcement to end the use of carotid restraint in light of the recent unrest.

Deputies Arrest Protesters For Curfew Violations In Santee

– 6:50 a.m., June 3, 2020

Protesters in Santee were arrested for curfew violations after refusing to clear an intersection as a citywide curfew went into effect, authorities said Wednesday morning.

Approximately 200 protesters were at the intersection of Mission Gorge Road and Cuyamaca Street about 7 p.m. Tuesday when deputies in a helicopter made announcements that the curfew was about to begin and would be enforced, according to Sgt. Ashley Lewis of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Some protesters left, but a vast majority refused to leave the area and a San Diego sheriff’s Mobile Field Force was called to the intersection to disperse the remaining protesters, Lewis said.

Multiple arrests were made and the remaining protesters cleared out, she said.

No injuries were immediately reported. — City News Service

Protesters Converge On County Admin Building On Third Day Of Protest Downtown

– 6:50 p.m., June 2, 2020

For the third day in a row, hundreds took the streets of San Diego to protest racial injustice and police brutality.

Tuesday’s protest organized by young people started small in Balboa Park and grew in size as the day went on. Organizers made a point to remind participants that it was a peaceful protest.

Around 1 p.m., the protesters marched to downtown San Diego and back.

“What’s going has to do with changing the system,” one protester told KPBS. “Giving cops a way to protect us, without injuring us, without hurting us, without killing us. And showing them that, hey, when it happens, we’re not going to stand for it.”

Around 4:30 p.m., protesters were on the move again, escorted by police, down Sixth Avenue to Broadway, then to Harbor Drive before ending up at the County Administration Center.

Around 6:30 p.m., the group marched to San Diego City Civic Center, where they held a rally.

Community Boards To Meet Regarding SDPD De-Escalation Of Force Policies

– 6:30 p.m., June 2, 2020

Two community boards that review police practices will hold emergency meetings this week regarding the San Diego Police Department’s de-escalation-of-force policies, it was announced Tuesday.

The city’s Citizens Advisory Board on Police/Community Relations will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, followed by a Thursday evening meeting of the Community Review Board on Police Practices, both of which can be viewed on the city’s website and YouTube page.

WATCH:

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the goal of both meetings is to “take a serious look at de-escalation recommendations that could be implemented by our department” and “increasing and facilitating further dialogue and understanding between our officers, our men and women who are out there protecting us, and the community.”

Faulconer said public input is welcome regarding what SDPD policies should be updated or changed.

“Many are crying out to be heard. We are listening,” Faulconer said. “Your city is listening. Now we want to turn those words into actions.”

The meetings will be held amid protests against police brutality staged in San Diego and elsewhere across the country, and follow Monday’s announcement by the SDPD that it is banning the use of the carotid restraint technique.

Protesters March Through Downtown San Diego

– 1:45 p.m., June 2, 2020

A group of protesters marched through downtown San Diego Tuesday afternoon.

Monday’s demonstration follows four consecutive days of protests in San Diego and across the United States over the death of George Floyd and police brutality.

Protests Spread Across San Diego County On Third Night Of Unrest

– 7:10 a.m., Tuesday, June 2, 2020

San Diego protesters returned home early this morning after a third night of opposing the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Demonstrations remained relatively peaceful on Monday, although arrests were made. Gatherings took place throughout the San Diego County.

A peaceful protest, made up primarily of marching students, was held in Balboa Park Monday afternoon and was followed by demonstrations outside the San Diego and Escondido police headquarters as well as in the Hillcrest neighborhood.

The protesters began marching in the early afternoon and reached the San Diego Zoo around 2 p.m., according to officials. The marchers decried police violence against African Americans and encouraged the nearly 150 people to remain peaceful.

Participants chanted “no justice, no peace, no racist police,” as well as the name of George Floyd, who died last Monday in Minneapolis after being taken into police custody, triggering protests and civil unrest in cities nationwide.

Officials shut down a number of on- and off-ramps due to the march and reported no arrests.

In the late afternoon, protesters began to collect outside the San Diego and Escondido Police Departments.

The San Diego gathering began around 6 p.m. in the 1400 block of Broadway. SDPD shut down the east-west street to vehicle traffic between 13th and 15th street.

Nearly 100 people collected near the San Diego police headquarters and faced four lines of police officers around 9 p.m. near the intersection of Broadway and 13th Street. Protesters chanted “George Floyd.”

Police presence increased in the area around 9:30 p.m. and a number of people were arrested 30 minutes later. Protesters continued to gather after the arrests, then scattered after a firework set off near the protest around 10:10 p.m.

Police declared an unlawful assembly in the area of 1400 Broadway, near 14th Street, about 10:30 p.m., asking people to clear the area and move away or face being cited or arrested or “risk exposure to chemical agents and less-lethal force applications,” the San Diego Police Department tweeted.

In Escondido, roughly two dozen protesters gathered across the street from the Escondido Police Department headquarters on Centre City Parkway in the late afternoon, EPD Lt. Mark Petersen said. The demonstrators were peaceful as they held signs, chanted slogans and called out to passers-by, Petersen reported.

The fourth protest on Monday began in the evening within the Hillcrest neighborhood.

Close to 200 other protesters gathered and knelt at The Pride Flag near the intersection of Normal Street and University Avenue at 9:30p.m. Protesters then marched down Park Avenue around 10 p.m.

Officers facilitated the peaceful demonstration, although one person was arrested for vandalism around 9:30 p.m., according to the San Diego Police Department.

The Monday gatherings followed a weekend of protests that started peaceful, but ended with clashes between protesters and police, vandalism and looting.

Groups Of Protesters March Through Hillcrest And Downtown

– 9:42 p.m., June 1, 2020

A group of about 200 demonstrators marched from Balboa Park to Hillcrest Monday evening.

The group had originally held a rally in Balboa Park, decrying the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while being arrested last week in Minneapolis, and police brutality.

A speaker from the LGBTQ community told the group to always remember that “pride started as a riot.”

Another group of about 100 protesters assembled in front of the San Diego Police headquarters. Protesters are lined up against a police line and are chanting “George Floyd” near the intersection of 13th Street and Broadway.

We are facilitating a demonstration now located at The Pride Flag.

One person has been arrested for vandalism (tagging).

The crowd was even happy the person got arrested – a GREAT sign we are in THIS and everything else – TOGETHER. https://t.co/tKPFrITG59

— San Diego Police Department (@SanDiegoPD) June 2, 2020

Poway, El Cajon And Santee Extend Emergency Curfew For Another Night

– 4:25 p.m., June 1, 2020

Curfews will be in place beginning tonight for the following cities:

La Mesa: 7 p.m. Monday to 5:30 a.m. Tuesday

Poway: 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.

El Cajon: 7 p.m. Monday to 5:30 a.m. Tuesday

Santee: 8 p.m. Monday to 6 a.m. Tuesday

People traveling to and from work are exempt.

Sheriff’s Department Defends Use Of Tear Gas, Pepper Pellets In La Mesa Protest

– 8 p.m., June 1, 2020

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department late Monday issued a statement saying it only deployed tear gas and pepper balls on the crowds of protesters in front of the La Mesa Police Department headquarters after some in the crowd started throwing rocks, bricks and water bottles at officers and deputies.

The move was decried by civic leaders as escalating the violence. After the tear gas was deployed, the largely peaceful protest devolved into chaos that eventually led to the looting of nearby businesses in downtown La Mesa and the torching of two banks in the area.

The department said it supports peaceful protests and noted there are bad actors who exploit protests as a way to vandalize and loot.

“There are people at these rallies exploiting the situation to discredit those peacefully assembled by looting businesses and setting fires to buildings,” the statement reads. “When demonstrations threaten life and property, law enforcement must act to restore safety in our communities.”

– 6:20 p.m., June 1, 2020

A second protest began around 6 p.m. demonstrating near San Diego police headquarters.

San Diego Police Department has shut down Broadway to vehicle traffic between 13th and 15th streets as a result.

San Diego Police Department To Cease Chokeholds As Method Of Restraint

– 5 p.m., June 1, 2020

San Diego Police Chief David Nislet announced Monday the San Diego Police Department will no longer use the carotid restraint technique as a use-of-force procedure.

The decision comes as demonstrators have taken to the streets from San Diego across the U.S. over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis on Memorial Day, after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white police officer.

“We are watching the hurt and pain so many people are expressing after the tragic death of George Floyd, and are committed to taking new actions to make sure something like this doesn’t happen in San Diego,” Mayor Faulconer said. “That starts today with the police chief’s decision to immediately stop this particular restraint that has led to so much concern and frustration by many in our minority communities. I want to thank Chief Nisleit for listening to those demanding justice and doing the right thing.”

Monday’s decision follows discussions between community leaders and the city. The move follows similar decisions by other law enforcement agencies across the U.S. to halt the use and training of the carotid restraint procedure. – KPBS Staff

Law Enforcement Close Several Ramps In And Out Of Downtown As More Protests Unfold

– 2:42 p.m., June 1, 2020

A large protest march, made up mostly of students decrying police violence against black Americans, proceeded through Balboa Park Monday afternoon, one day after a downtown San Diego protest devolved into looting and vandalism after dark.

We are facilitating a demonstration now located at The Pride Flag.

One person has been arrested for vandalism (tagging).

The crowd was even happy the person got arrested – a GREAT sign we are in THIS and everything else – TOGETHER. https://t.co/tKPFrITG59

— San Diego Police Department (@SanDiegoPD) June 2, 2020

The group of protesters began marching early Monday afternoon through the park and reached the San Diego Zoo by 2 p.m., chanting “No Justice, no peace. No racist police,” as well as the name of George Floyd, who died Memorial Day in Minneapolis after being taken into police custody.

Protest leaders could be heard urging marchers not to commit vandalism, and only use temporary means like chalk to leave messages, which many of the demonstrators employed to write messages like “Black Lives Matter” on city sidewalks.

The California Highway Patrol closed some freeway on- and off-ramps in downtown San Diego as a precaution. The closures included westbound state Route 94 to F Street, the First Avenue entrance to southbound I-5, and the southbound I-5 exits to 10th Avenue and Front Street, the CHP reported.

The demonstration followed a weekend of large-scale protests in La Mesa and downtown San Diego, both of which started peacefully, but ended with clashes between protesters and police and looting.

Local Black Leaders Address San Diego’s Weekend Protests

– 11:50 a.m., June 1, 2020

Local black leaders and allies are holding a conference to address “unlawful use of force and misconduct on peaceful protesters over the weekend.’”

The participants, including former mayoral candidate Tasha Williamson, Deputy Public Defender Genevieve Jones-Wright and San Diego County Democratic Party Chairman Will Rodriguez-Kennedy will announce a list of demands to multiple police departments across the county.

– 7:15 a.m., June 1, 2020

Business owners Monday will assess the damages done by looters who broke into downtown stores after police broke up a protest late Sunday following earlier peaceful demonstrations held to seek justice for George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis last week after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white police officer.

Police reported early Monday they arrested more than 100 people.

“In total over 100 people were arrested & booked in to jail for charges ranging from failure to disperse, burglary, assaulting officers & vandalism,” a tweet said. “Peaceful demonstrations will be facilitated. Violent & destructive acts will be addressed.”

End of 5/31-06/01: In total over 100 people were arrested & booked in to jail for charges ranging from failure to disperse, burglary, assaulting officers & vandalism.

Peaceful demonstrations will be facilitated.

Violent & destructive acts will be addressed. pic.twitter.com/ZqNyUnerHR

— San Diego Police Department (@SanDiegoPD) June 1, 2020

The looting was reported after 10 p.m. Sunday as large numbers of people moved through the streets of downtown breaking windows and entering stores. Police responded en masse, cornering a group of looters near Fifth Avenue and C Street.

Earlier, police used tear gas and flash-bang grenades against protesters and issued an unlawful assembly order in the area of Broadway, downtown, due to escalating violence. Police made numerous arrests after officers were hit with rocks and water bottles.

San Diego County officially declared a state of emergency Sunday in reaction to police protests nationwide, and several cities imposed an overnight curfew. Jeff Collins, a county spokesman, said the state of emergency was declared in part so the sheriff’s department could impose a curfew for unincorporated areas. He said it would also allow the county to seek federal reimbursement if needed.

According to a news release, the curfew was to be imposed at 8 p.m. Sunday in several unincorporated communities including Lakeside and Spring Valley.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, all residents were urged to “stay home, indoors and off the streets.” Violation of the curfew order is a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $1,000 or up to six months in jail, or both. It was unclear if anyone had been arrested for violating curfew orders.

Poway also imposed a curfew beginning at 8 p.m. Law enforcement, fire, medical personnel and members of the media are exempt from curfew, as are those commuting “directly to and from work, seeking emergency care, fleeing dangerous circumstances or experiencing homelessness,” according to the city.

Santee also imposed an 8 p.m. curfew. According to its web site, the city was asking residents to “please stay home and stay safe” with their families unless they need “to travel to work, seek medical care or are experiencing an emergency situation.”

The city of El Cajon Sunday proclaimed a “dire local emergency” in the wake of protests, and also imposed a curfew that began at 7 p.m. — City News Service

– 11:30 p.m., May 31, 2020

San Diego police have started detaining people at First Avenue and G Street where two groups of protesters merged. Police had said there were acts of vandalism against businesses along First Avenue and C and State streets.

Some were also throwing rocks at police cruisers, according to SDPD.

After police fired pepper balls into the crowd, it dispersed.

Around 15 people were seen on camera being detained. It was unclear if the people detained were people who vandalized those businesses. An unlawful assembly had been declared, which means police could arrest people for being out in the street.

– 10:30 p.m., May 31, 2020

There have been reports of minor looting in downtown San Diego. The AT&T store at Broadway and Third Avenue had its window broken and looted.

The CVS store at Broadway and Fifth Avenue was also looted. Some protesters were seen blocking people from entering and looting some more.

Protesters had largely tried to keep the demonstration peaceful, yelling at people to stop breaking windows and chasing away looters, according to reports.

– 9:45 p.m., May 31, 2020

Authorities used flash bangs and pepper balls to try to disperse the crowd that gathered in front of the County Administration Center.

People had gathered there for a vigil for George Floyd, the man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police sparking a nationwide protest.

Shortly before 9 p.m., authorities declared an unlawful assembly and started ushering people away from the County Administration building. San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, along with San Diego Police and San Diego Harbor Police, fanned out and forced people away from the waterfront.

There weren’t big clashes between law enforcement and protesters. Some storefronts around Ash and Columbia streets had windows broken, but there were no reports of looting in the area.

The protesters had largely left the area around 10 p.m., but there were some hot spots still in the area.

UPDATE: 6:51 p.m., May 31, 2020

Sheriff Issues Curfews For Unincorporated Areas

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has issued a curfew order for some unincorporated communities starting at 8 p.m. Sunday and lasting through 5:30 a.m. Monday.

The areas affected include the following:

Areas around Spring Valley: Unincorporated areas east of the boundaries of the cities of La Mesa and San Diego to State Highway 54; north and west of state Route 54 from the boundary of the city of San Diego to the boundary of the city of El Cajon; and south of the boundary of the city of El Cajon to the west of SR-54.

Areas from Lakeside north to Poway: Unincorporated areas west of state Route 67 from the boundary of the city of Poway to Mapleview Street; areas south and west of Mapleview Street and Lake Jennings Park Road to Interstate 8; areas north of I-8 from Lake Jennings Park Road to the boundary of the city of El Cajon.

The sheriff’s department says everyone who lives in those areas must stay home and off the streets. People who violate the order face a misdemeanor and are subject to a fine up to $1,000 or 6 months in jail.

In addition, several cities throughout the county have issued curfews. They are as follows:

– La Mesa: begins at 7 p.m. and lasts until 7 a.m. Monday.

– Poway: begins at 8 p.m. and lasts until 5:30 a.m. Monday.

– Santee: begins at 8 p.m. and lasts until 6 a.m. Monday.

– El Cajon: begins at 7 p.m. and lasts until 6 a.m. Monday.

The city of Coronado did not issue a formal curfew, but issued a directive asking residents stay at home from 8 p.m. tonight through 5:30 a.m. Monday.

As of 6:50 p.m., the city of San Diego had not issued a curfew. – KPBS Staff

UPDATE: 4:40 p.m., May 31, 2020

Poway Issues Curfew As Hundreds Of Protesters Join Demonstration

The city of Poway has issued a curfew as hundreds of demonstrators gather to protest the death of George Floyd who was killed while in the custody of Minneapolis police.

The curfew will begin at 8 p.m. and last until 5:30 a.m. Monday morning. Several businesses in the area boarded up windows and closed early, including Walmart.

San Diego sheriff’s deputies are nearby but so far the demonstrators have been peaceful.

We recognize and support every individual’s first amendment right to free speech, but to protect our city and deter unlawful activity we are enacting an emergency curfew this evening, May 31 at 8 p.m. Please read full statement: https://t.co/08I8T4vHzY

— City of Poway (@cityofpoway) May 31, 2020

– KPBS Staff

UPDATE: 3:51 p.m., May 31, 2020

The San Diego Police Department Sunday afternoon used tear gas and flash-bang grenades against protesters and issued an unlawful assembly order in the area of Broadway downtown because of escalating violence.

The police made a number of arrests in the wake of the violence against officers, who were hit with rocks and water bottles.

The mostly peaceful march through downtown San Diego and onto a portion of Interstate 5 to demonstrate against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis was winding down at the Hall of Justice after 2 p.m., but some protesters were refusing to leave the area.

Some protesters began moving toward police and throwing plastic water bottles at officers, who responded by firing flash-bang grenades and later tear gas. The police eventually pushed demonstrators out of the immediate vicinity of the Hall of Justice.

Meanwhile, other pockets of more peaceful protests were happening in separate downtown locations. In these instances, protesters were yelling police but not throwing things.

There were some instances of vandalism. At a Citi Bank location at Broadway Circle, a man threw a chair from the restaurant next door through the bank’s window. However, a group of protesters shamed the man and ran him off. Meanwhile, two young men guarded the storefront, protecting it from further damage. – KPBS Staff and City News Service

La Mesa Imposes New Curfew From Sunday Evening Through Monday Morning

UPDATE: 2:06 p.m., May 31, 2020

The La Mesa City Council met in emergency closed session Sunday morning to, among other things, impose a new curfew from 7 p.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday.

Also, for the time being the city is closing Allison Street between Spring Street and University Avenue and the Civic Center parking lot, said Councilman Colin Parent.

Previously, the city had imposed a curfew on from 1:00 a.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday.

The City Council’s actions are in response to the riot and looting that took place in the city’s downtown area Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Earlier on Saturday, demonstrators had staged a peaceful protest against a La Mesa police officer’s actions last week toward an African American man.

“These are extremely challenging times in La Mesa and the city government is taking whatever measures necessary to preserve the peace in our community,” Parent said. — David Washburn, KPBS editor

UPDATE: 12:23 p.m., May 31, 2020

Demonstrators Sunday morning staged a protest that began in downtown and at one point caused a portion of Interstate 5 to be closed to traffic for a short period.

Beginning at 10 a.m., hundreds of protesters marched down to the San Diego Police Department headquarters on Broadway. As of the early afternoon, the protest had remained peaceful.

At around 12:15, protesters made their way to the freeway in the East Village area of downtown, shutting down I-5 in both directions for a short time.

According to a Facebook post, it is a “peaceful protest in solidarity of George Floyd,” the black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

“We just want to be heard…we want everybody to know we stand in solidarity with George Floyd,” said Ariel Gibbs, one of the event’s organizers. “Hopefully we are heading for change. We see that we need a community review board to hold police accountable.”

The online post encouraged attendees to wear their masks but not to join if they are feeling sick.

UPDATE: 10:16 a.m., May 31, 2020

The owner of the Play It Again Sports in downtown La Mesa returned Sunday morning to a waterlogged storefront from sprinklers that doused a fire set during the rioting Saturday night and early Sunday.

“Destruction, complete destruction,” Daniel Buxton said of the building’s condition. “The sprinkles were on for about five hours pouring water all over everything.”

Buxton said looters armed with bats destroyed the inside of the store, including its computers.

“Took what they could, destroyed what they could and got out,” he said.

But Buxton said help from the community gave him hope about a quick path to re-opening.

“I thought it was going to take a month, but with this kind of turnout, maybe it’ll take a week, maybe less, maybe a day,” he said.

While disappointed by the destruction, Buxton said he supported the right of people to speak out in protest.

“I just never wanted it to turn into this obviously and I don’t think this accomplishes anything for anybody, but I do think that people have a right to protest and should if they feel that they want to,” he said. — Joe Hong and Tarryn Mento, KPBS reporters

Photo caption:

UPDATE: 9:55 a.m., May 31, 2020

A community member from nearby Spring Valley compares destruction in La Mesa to “a war zone.”

Mary Duty, an African American woman, said she was among the protesters in La Mesa Saturday evening but went home after police began launching tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds gathered at the city’s police headquarters.

“I come back this morning — it’s like a war zone. It felt like we’re actually in a war,” Duty said while standing near the Randall Lamb Associates building that was charred from an earlier blaze.

Community members were cleaning up shattered windows and vandalized storefronts in the downtown area after the overnight protests turned violent.

Duty, a retired teacher, said she was particularly affected by the death of George Floyd, which sparked the unrest across the country, because she is the mother to a 31-year-old black son.

RELATED: What’s It Like To Be Black In America Right Now?

“He’s been detained by the police, so it’s right at home for me,” she said. “This is right at home when you let the police off and saying it’s OK — it’s not OK.”

Duty said she was shocked by the damage from protestors but did not want to judge their actions.

“I can’t judge somebody else’s anger or how they’re going to protest — it is what it is. If this is the way of getting the world’s attention, then that’s how it’s going to have to be,” she said. — Joe Hong and Tarryn Mento, KPBS reporters

Photo caption:

UPDATE: 9:00 a.m., May 31, 2020

A local La Mesa business calls on community members to help clean up the city’s downtown area.

La Mesa City Councilmember Colin Parent tweeted a message he said was from Public House Coffee. The business will provide garbage bags and gloves and encouraged participants to meet at its storefront beginning at 9 a.m., according to the post.

“La Mesa suffered a tragedy, and we need to come together, both today and going forward,” Parent said in the tweet. — Joe Hong and Tarryn Mento, KPBS reporters

UPDATE: 8:12 a.m., May 31, 2020

Community members began cleaning up in La Mesa after a curfew lifted following overnight protests that left businesses smoldering and vandalized.

Many carried trash bags and brooms. Others were walking their dogs and gasping at the damage.

Small flames were still visible at a Chase bank location at Spring St. that had been reduced to twisted metal and charred lumber. Down the street, employees at La Mesa Lumber and Hardware painted over the exterior of its warehouse.

At La Mesa City Hall, windows were shattered and the nearby police headquarters was covered in profane graffiti. — Joe Hong and Tarryn Mento, KPBS reporters

Photo caption:

UPDATE: 1:19 a.m., May 31, 2020

La Mesa City Councilmember Colin Parent tweeted out Sunday morning that the city of La Mesa would have a curfew from 1:30 AM until 7:00 AM on May 31st.

By order of the City Manager, La Mesa will begin a curfew starting on May 31st from 1:30 AM until 7:00 AM. Please stay at home and keep safe.

— Colin Parent (@ColinParent) May 31, 2020

UPDATE: 12:08 a.m., May 31, 2020

The Chase Bank on Spring Street, across the street from La Mesa Police Department was fully engulfed in flames. The fire started sometime after 11 p.m. Saturday.

The nearby Union Bank was also on fire.

Sheriff’s deputies are holding spectators back away from the fires as firefighters attempt to douse the flames.

UPDATE : 11:58 p.m., May 30, 2020

The Los Angeles mayor says National Guard troops will be deployed overnight as violence continues in the nation’s second-largest city. The order comes as California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Saturday night as protests in the city turned violent.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said Saturday evening he asked Gov. Gavin Newsom for 500 to 700 members of the Guard. The mayor imposed a curfew on the city after crowds torched police cars and burglarized stores.

The California National Guard is being deployed to Los Angeles overnight to support our local response to maintain peace and safety on the streets of our city.

— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) May 31, 2020

Everyone was ordered to be off the streets until 5:30 a.m. Sunday. Clashes between protesters and lines of police officers came after an initially peaceful gathering. More than 500 people were arrested during clashes downtown Friday night. The new violence is centered in the Fairfax section west of downtown.– Associated Press, Shalina Chatlani

UPDATE: 11:35 p.m., May 30, 2020

After looters raided several stores in the La Mesa Springs Shopping Center, law enforcement surrounded the strip mall and finally dispersed the crowd.

People took bats to stores windows, broke in and started looting, taking items from balloons to alcohol and food. Both the Vons supermarket and Play It Again Sports caught fire, as well as the Chase Bank on Spring Street.

Law enforcement from several departments, including the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, responded to the shopping center to disperse the crowd. Some were in riot gear.

Down the road, a vehicle was on fire in front of the Plaza La Mesa Shopping Center. Looters also raided the Walmart at Grossmont Center, where there was no police presence.

Earlier in the night, protesters tried to flip over a Heartland Fire Truck but failed and ended up setting the pick-up truck on fire in front of City Hall. Protesters also vandalized and tried to set City Hall on fire. They broke windows and spray-painted the building.

UPDATE: 9:50 p.m., May 30, 2020

Vons supermarket and the Play It Again Sports store is on fire in the La Mesa Springs Shopping Center.

Every store in the La Mesa Springs Shopping Center has had their windows broken and there is not a police presence in sight.

UPDATE: 9:28 p.m., May 30, 2020

People are running in and out of Von’s, with carts full of goods and several store windows have been broken.

Two vehicles are also engulfed in flames in front of La Mesa City Hall. Law enforcement has fired rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowds.

UPDATE: 8:35 p.m., May 30, 2020

San Diego Sheriff’s deputies deployed tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets Saturday evening to disperse protesters in front of the La Mesa Police Department.

Around 6 p.m. the crowd started throwing water bottles and rocks at law enforcement. That’s when deputies fired rounds of rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas into the crowd.

The crowd momentarily dispersed but many have since returned, remaining in the parking lot in front of the building.

Some protesters had painted graffiti on the station’s walls and broke the windows.

Around 8 p.m, authorities fired a barrage of tear gas and flashbangs at the crowd to clear the parking lot in front of the station. Dozens of law enforcement vehicles moved in right after to try to disperse the crowd.

Earlier in the afternoon, protesters had peacefully marched in front of the department to demonstrate against ongoing police brutality across the U.S.

Protesters then marched onto Interstate 8, blocking the freeway in both directions around Jackson Drive. The freeway remained blocked at 8 p.m.

Earlier this week, a La Mesa police officer detained a black man at the Grossmont Transit Center Wednesday. The man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an officer and the encounter was videotaped and appeared on social media. — Alexander Nguyen, KPBS web producer

ORIGINAL STORY:

An estimated 1,000 protesters blocked Interstate 8 in both directions Saturday to demonstrate against a police officer who detained a black man earlier this week.

About 2:30 p.m., the crowd initially took over the La Mesa Police Department parking lot to protest an officer who detained a man at the Grossmont Transit Center Wednesday. The man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an officer and the encounter was videotaped and appeared on social media.

The protesters chanted “Black lives matter” and carried signs such as “no justice, no peace,” as they marched down University Avenue.

At first, the group was stopped when they tried to get on I-8 at the Baltimore Drive entrance by California Highway Patrol officers. But soon after, the protesters broke through the CHP line and continued marching eastbound on the freeway.

The CHP then halted traffic on I-8 eastbound and when protesters began marching on the westbound side, traffic was then halted on that side of the freeway.

About 4:30 p.m., CHP officers wearing face shields stood in a line across the freeway and squared off with protesters, some wearing face shields. A protester with a bullhorn appeared to be asking the crowd to back away from the officers, which they did. The protesters then left one side of the freeway and climbed over the center divider to get on the other side.

Saturday’s protest follows a Memorial Day incident in Minneapolis when a police officer, Derek Chauvin, was videotaped pinning George Floyd to the ground with his knee on his neck, which eventually led to Floyd’s death. Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter on Friday.

Outrage over Floyd’s death built across the country and many protests have turned into rioting.

La Mesa officials said they are launching an outside investigation into the Wednesday incident. — City News Service

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