About 1,000 people turned out to an anti-police brutality protest in Palm Springs Saturday, part of a wave of protests this week in Riverside County sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis
The “Enough is Enough” demonstration began at 9 a.m. at Ruth Hardy Park and was organized by a group of eight teenagers who go by the name “Young Justice Advocates.”
An hour-long program that included various speakers started at 10 a.m.
One of those speakers, Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, encouraged the crowd to hold their elected officials accountable for police misconduct.
“(We) shouldn’t wait for an act of Congress, or for Congress to get its act together,” he said. “The sheriff is an elected official. Accountable to you.”
The Palm Springs Police Department said in a tweet that they worked closely with the organizers to ensure that the protest would remain peaceful and asked motorists to avoid the area for its duration.
On Friday, a protest in Riverside outside the Main Library denouncing law enforcement abuses attracted about 300 people.
Another 75 people gathered in front of Riverside City Hall to listen to music and hear fellow demonstrators speak. People carried signs and wore T- shirts that read “Strong, Black And Proud,” “We Can’t Breathe,” and “No Justice, No Peace.”
The location was the same spot where nearly 2,000 protesters assembled for a vigil that ended without incident Thursday evening, according to Riverside Police spokesman Ryan Railsback.
The protests are tied the Memorial Day death of the 46-year-old Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and face- down on the street.
The four officers who handled the arrest were all fired and later charged with crimes. Derek Chauvin, the officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second-degree murder. J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Critics have spotlighted Floyd’s death as an illustration of wider law enforcement abuses.
On Monday, seven people were arrested after nearly 6,000 people massed at the Main Library in Riverside and proceeded to march to the intersection of Orange and 10th, where a skirmish line of more than 100 deputies and police officers clad in riot gear faced them.
In the last hour of the gathering, as a curfew went into effect and several unidentified parties began hurling pyrotechnics at law enforcement personnel, who immediately issued dispersal orders. There was an attempt to loot a CVS Pharmacy on Market Street, and according to Railsback, several businesses between Tenth and Mission Inn were targeted by graffiti vandals, and there were a few broken windows.
No injuries were reported.