About 100 people gathered on the edge of Balboa Park in Bankers Hill on Tuesday to continue nationwide demonstrations against police violence more than a week after George Floyd’s death in police custody.
The peaceful group stood in a line along 6th Street at Laurel Avenue holding signs towards cars as they sped by. Several drivers honked in support, sending a wave of cheers through the crowd.
By about 2 p.m., the protest began to move. Demonstrators marched through 6th avenue, escorted by two police motorcycles in front and several patrol vehicles behind as they made their way to 15th and Market streets.
Along the way, drivers honked in support as the crowd chanted, “No justice, no peace,” and “I can’t breathe,” phrases heard at similar protests across the country among people outraged at the death of George Floyd, a black man who pleaded for air for several minutes as a white officer pressed his knee into his neck. His death on Memorial Day prompted protests across the nation calling for prosecution against the officers at the scene when he died. So far, one of four has been charged.
The group, which had grown to about several hundred, ended up at the County Administration Building along the Embarcadero where demonstrators listened as speakers, one-by-one, took to the top of the steps to share their reasons for marching.
A crowd then traveled back through downtown and ended up at the San Diego Civic Center around 6:30 p.m. chanting “Black Lives Matter.”
A group that stayed behind at the County Administration building began asking deputies on guard if they would kneel with them.
The demonstration was the third in three days in downtown San Diego. Demonstrations on Sunday and Monday remained peaceful but as nightfall fell unrest began among some unruly crowd members. Both nights, the San Diego Police Department issued an “unlawful assembly order” once some began throwing rocks, water bottles and glass at officers. Those that did not disperse were met with rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper balls.
In all 97 people were arrested on Sunday and 17 people were arrested on Monday. SDPD Chief David Nisleit said about a quarter of Sunday’s arrestees were not from the San Diego area.
Smaller protests were held elsewhere in the county Tuesday, including Ramona and Santee. No arrests were reported, nor were any declarations of unlawful assemblies.