A crowd of hundreds gathered at Fairmount Park Sunday in Riverside for a peaceful protest against racism and police brutality.
The event began at noon and featured live music and speeches, followed by a march to the Riverside Historic Courthouse.
Riverside police officers and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies stood guard outside the courthouse as demonstrators chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
The crowd took a knee and held a moment of silence for close to nine minutes before marching back to Fairmount Park, where the demonstration concluded.
The Riverside Police Department said the protest was “very peaceful with no issues reported.”
Sunday’s protest was part of a wave of demonstrations that have taken place this week in Riverside County, and across the world, sparked by the in- custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
On Saturday, about 1,000 people turned out to an anti-police brutality protest in Palm Springs,
The “Enough is Enough” demonstration at Ruth Hardy Park was organized by a group of eight teenagers who go by the name “Young Justice Advocates.”
The hour-long program included various speakers, including Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Palm Desert, who 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.”
On Friday, another 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 almost nine 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 about 6,000 people massed at the Main Library in Riverside and proceeded to march to the intersection of Orange and 10th streets, 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, several unidentified protesters hurled pyrotechnics at law enforcement personnel, who immediately issued dispersal orders.
There was an unsuccessful bid to loot a CVS Pharmacy on Market Street.
Authorities said several businesses between 10th Street and Mission Inn Avenue were targeted by graffiti vandals and there were a few broken windows.
No injuries were reported.
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