Hundreds of people were protesting Tuesday at the Manhattan Beach Pier in continued demonstrations spurred by last week’s in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The gathering in the upscale beach city was a predominantly white crowd made up of many local residents carrying signs proclaiming “Black Lives Matter” and at least one reading “Prosecute Killer Cops.”
“Our sleepy beach town stands with you #blacklivesmatter #beachlife #manhattanbeach #standup #standwith,” posted one resident with the Instagram handle mb_dudette.
In one video, protesters can be heard chanting, “Empathize. Embrace. Empower.”
People assembled on the pier, while others jammed adjacent parking lots and spilled out in the street where police cruisers blocked the south end of the street. Protesters later walked to Hermosa Beach along the wide sidewalk “strand” that separates the beach from homes.
Police at the scene, some patrolling the beach and others in a line facing protesters with signs raised, told Fox-11 they would tolerate no violence.
One Manhattan Beach family of four, wearing medical-style masks like most in the crowd, told a reporter why they thought it was important to attend.
Colin Aita, a realtor, was carrying a sign reading, “Use your privilege to fight for justice.”
He said he was raised in a family that believed in peaceful protest to achieve change.
“I thought it was important to bring my kids down here to see what we need to do to change 400 years of this,” Aita said.
His young daughter shared her own perspective.
“I want to be an ally to people … I just don’t think it’s fair for people to be treated like this,” the girl said.
Aita’s wife said she thought it was important to make their views known.
“We need to be out in the public,” she said, adding that she wanted her children to learn that “People can protest, stand up for what they believe in … We are privileged to live in a world where we’re not fearful every day.”