Despite an hours-long standoff between deputies and demonstrators in Temecula, Riverside County protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis have so far remained peaceful this weekend, with another set to occur in Moreno Valley Sunday.
Two protests at Temecula Duck Pond on Saturday attracted hundreds, with one held in the morning and one in the afternoon.
Social media posts of the rallies show demonstrators spread out near the corner of Ynez and Rancho California roads holding signs and chanting “Black lives matter” as passing vehicles honked in support.
A Facebook page for the protesters said they would be “promoting awareness about police brutality and racism in the justice system as well as handing out resources people can use to urge the DA to get the officers responsible for George Floyd’s murder charged with their crimes.”
During the morning protest that began at 10 a.m., one person was struck by a vehicle and suffered minor injuries, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, though the driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with authorities.
Sheriff’s officials said the driver lost control of the vehicle, and they did not believe the crash was intentional, but an investigation continues.
More tension was visible between law enforcement personnel and protesters during the afternoon protest, which began at 3 p.m..
Deputies, some wearing gas masks, lined up and ordered protesters to disperse at about 4:30 p.m., according to posts on social media. However, demonstrators defied the order and remained in and around the park until about 6:30 p.m. when the crowd began to thin out.
A demonstration was also held Saturday at the Galleria at Tyler in Riverside.
Protesters are planning to gather Sunday at Ironwood Avenue and Day Street at 4:30 p.m. They will be marching to Perris Boulevard.
“Moreno Valley when we protest do not, I mean do not, turn against your own people; do not vandalize our residents cars, homes or businesses. This is between us, the system and all alliances or corporations in agreement,” reads a Facebook post by Moreno Valley Justice Matters, which is promoting the event.
Sheriff’s officials said they were not on any type of heightened alert after four nights of protests 60 miles away in Los Angeles that at times turned violent.
“We are monitoring any protests that will be going on in Riverside County at this time but do not have any further information to provide on any protests,” said Sgt. Deanna Pecoraro.
Floyd’s death on Monday was caught in a viral video showing 44-year- old Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin pressing a knee on Floyd’s neck as he pleaded for air during an arrest.
As onlookers begged for the officer to back down, the video shows Chauvin continued pinning Floyd for more than eight minutes, according to witnesses, even as Floyd became unresponsive.
Chauvin and three other officers involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department on Tuesday.
On Friday, Chauvin was arrested. He has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Protests have sprung up across the country in response to the killing.
In Los Angeles, more than 500 people were arrested in connection with looting and vandalism during overnight protests that continued through Saturday afternoon.
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