CW: anti-Black violence and police violence
Hundreds of local San Diego residents protested Saturday against police violence and the recent killings of Black Americans by demanding widespread systemic changes, such as the demilitarization and defunding of the police.
The San Diego #BlackLivesMatter chapter organized Saturday’s caravan protest where participants met at Gliderport and drove throughout San Diego. The caravan route made two more stops near UC San Diego’s campus: the San Diego Police Department’s (SDPD) University City station and the La Jolla Crossroads apartment complex.
Protestors drove past the University City police station demanding justice for the death of Aleah Jenkins. SDPD officers arrested Jenkins for an outstanding misdemeanor after they pulled over a car for expired registration where she was a passenger. Jenkins died after becoming unconscious while under SDPD’s custody in 2018.
The officer who transported Jenkins to jail was not found criminally liable for her death by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office in 2019. Jenkins’ family filed a federal wrongful death suit in 2019 alleging that officers ignored her requests for medical help.
The police officers observed protestors from the station’s roof, front lawn, and various police vehicles. Officers allowed protestors to drive by peacefully for two hours before blocking off the street to alleviate gridlock.
Protestors then drove past the Crossroads apartment complex demanding justice for the killing of Monique Clark. She was shot and killed by a white gunman at a birthday pool party in 2017 where seven other Black folks and a Hispanic man were injured. Eyewitnesses reported that the gunman threatened to shoot a white woman if she didn’t stop aiding Clark and leave the area. SDPD investigations concluded that there was zero evidence of the shooter considering race during his mass shooting.
Protestors also attended in remembrance of Black lives recently taken by police and racist violence, such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. They shared their demands with The Triton for big systemic changes to policing.
Attendants consistently said that they want police forces to be disarmed, demilitarized, and defunded. This includes the police no longer having access to equipment such as firearms, tear gas, and armored vehicles, while also significantly reducing city investment in police departments in favor of other public services.
Hundreds of residents recently urged the City Council to reject a $27 million increase to the police budget proposed by Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Rather, residents want to see these funds allocated towards healthcare, transit, and COVID-19 related relief. The city council will make final changes and adopt the budget at their meeting tomorrow, June 8.
Mo Al Elew is a Senior Staff writer for The Triton. You can follow him @Solomune.