Dozens attend rally, march against police brutality – The …
Dozens of San Diego community members took to the streets Sunday afternoon to protest police brutality and to highlight reforms meant to discourage, among other things, the excessive use of force by officers.
The event, organized by the Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego, marked the 24th National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation — a national event that will be held Tuesday.
The demonstration began with several speakers, including family members of people killed by police. Tony Abuka, the youngest brother of Alfred Olango, said he feels events like Sunday’s demonstration are important because issues like police reform will only take place if community members come together.
An El Cajon police officer killed Olango on Sept. 27, 2016, after Olango’s sister, Lucy Olango, called police seeking help for her brother, who she said “wasn’t acting like himself” that day.
“We’re asking that people get a chance,” Abuka said. “In a lot of these situations, individuals needed help. They need people to come and deescalate the situation. Approaching a situation with weapons isn’t always the proper measure.”
Other speakers touched on several different police reforms that have been championed by San Diego activists over the last several years. Darwin Fishman, who has taught at San Diego State University and is a member of the Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego, called on the San Diego Police Department to ban a controversial neck hold called the carotid restraint.
Critics contend the restraint can lead to serious injury or death, and is disproportionately used on minorities. Police say they have applied the move safely hundreds of times over the years and it can resolve incidents before deadlier force options are tried.
Other speakers addressed a potential ballot measure that would overhaul the city’s police oversight board.
About 55 people attended the event, which began on a sidewalk near the San Diego Police Department’s Southeastern Division on Skyline Drive. The crowd had planned on gathering in front of the station, but officers cordoned off the parking lot with police tape, preventing anyone from approaching.
At least a dozen officers were seen in the area during the event.
Demonstrators then marched west to Martin Luther King Jr. Park. On the way, the group chanted phrases like “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” Some held posters commemorating loved ones who had been killed during encounters with police.
After the short walk, attendees shared a meal, got to know one another and discussed other ways to bring attention to police reform.
“We are stronger together as one voice,” said Yusef Miller of the Islamic Center of North County. “Let’s stand together and fight from our hearts for change.”
Published at Sun, 20 Oct 2019 21:14:00 +0000