From CSRA to LA, it was another weekend of protests
Across the country, for the fourth weekend in a row, many Americans were out protesting police brutality.
In the CSRA, there were rallies in both Aiken and North Augusta on Saturday. And elsewhere, violence erupted and concerns were raised about a new police shooting.
In the CSRA
In Aiken, it was more than just another day of demonstrations.
It was also a chance for parents who’ve lost their children to gun violence to share their story.
Many parents there said no matter how much time passes, the pain never gets easier. The mother of Ahmaud Arbery — who was shot dead Feb. 23 outside Brunswick — spoke to the crowd.
“I know Ahmaud is in heaven. He is smiling. He is pleased on how I have conducted myself as mother,” Wanda Cooper Jones said.
North Augusta saw its first protest in the current wave of demonstrations calling for police reform and racial justice. People marched all the way down Georgia Avenue, advocating for equality, police reform and the removal of the Meriweather Monument. Organizers say they plan to hold more social justice events in the future.
There was a protest in Los Angeles County, where there are calls for an investigation into another officer-involved shooting.
“We wasn’t being aggressive, violent or anything like that and they just started shooting tear gas at us, then they started shooting rubber bullets,” protester Alexander Ferguson said.
Protesters there are demanding answers about the fatal shooting of Andres Guardado.
One of Guardado’s relatives says the 18-year-old was working as a security guard at an auto body shop.
Deputies say they were patrolling the area Thursday when they saw a man pull out a handgun and run-off. Authorities say that after a short chase, Guardado was shot by a deputy.
“A 40-caliber, semi-automatic pistol was recovered at the scene. That firearm had a polymer frame with no markings or serial number,” said Capt. Kurt Wegener of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
In other protests:
- One person was wounded in the second shooting in Seattle’s protest zone in less than 48 hours. The shooting happened late Sunday night in the area near Seattle’s downtown known as CHOP, for “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest.” Police tweeted that one person was at a hospital with a gunshot wound. A hospital spokesperson says that the person was in serious condition. A pre-dawn shooting Saturday had left a 19-year-old man dead and another person critically injured. No arrests in that shooting had been made as of Sunday. Police say they tried to respond to the call but demonstrators wouldn’t let them enter.
- A peaceful protest in Portland against racial injustice turned violent early Sunday after baton-wielding police used flash-bang grenades to disperse demonstrators throwing bottles, cans and rocks at sheriff’s deputies near downtown’s Justice Center, police said. Protesters pulled down a fence cordoning off the center, tossed objects including fireworks at officers and ignored repeated warnings to disperse, police said in a statement. It said some people shined lasers into the eyes of deputies.
- A statue of a Spanish missionary in downtown Los Angeles was toppled by demonstrators. The statue of Father Junipero Serra in Father Serra Park was brought down Saturday by Indigenous activists who shouted and drummed as it flew off its pedestal. The 18th century Roman Catholic priest founded nine of California’s 21 Spanish missions. Native Americans were forced to stay at those missions after they were converted or face brutal punishment. A statue of Serra was also toppled in San Francisco on Friday.
Also in the news ...
- A 75-foot-tall Confederate monument has been taken down from Capitol grounds in North Carolina. Small sections of the monument were dismantled piece by piece by a crane Sunday. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered the statues to be moved following a night of protests Saturday. He says the moves comes after concerns over public safety and the danger of protesters pulling them down themselves.
- A New York City police officer was suspended without pay Sunday after he was recorded putting his arm around a man’s neck in what the police commissioner called an “apparent chokehold.” A video shot by one of the men involved showed a group of officers tackling a black man, with one of them putting his arm around his neck as he lay face-down on the boardwalk. In the video, someone yells, “Stop choking him, bro!” The officer relaxes his grip after a fellow officer taps him and pulls on his shirt.
- The American Museum of Natural History in New York will remove a prominent statue of Theodore Roosevelt from its entrance after years of objections that it symbolizes colonial expansion and racial discrimination, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday. The bronze statue that has stood at the museum’s Central Park West entrance since 1940 depicts Roosevelt on horseback with a Native American man and an African man standing next to the horse.
- A Confederate statue has been removed from outside the Jefferson County courthouse in Pine Bluff, Ark., and will be moved to a Confederate cemetery in the city about 40 miles southeast of Little Rock. The 20-foot statue of a Confederate infantryman that was first placed outside Pine Bluff High School in 1910 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and moved to the courthouse in 1974 was taken down Saturday.
- Premier Giuseppe Conte says Italy is watching closely, and with concern, as Black Lives Matter protests sweep across American cities, particularly as the U.S. is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Conte said the protests had “touched the raw nerve of racial discrimination in American society,” while reflecting problems of inequality, suffering and marginalization among certain facets of the population.
- Eight Minnesota correction officers filed discrimination charges against a detention center in St. Paul for keeping them from working near former officer Derek Chauvin, who used a chokehold on George Floyd before Floyd died, setting off the wave of protests that continued as other police-involved deaths occurred. The eight employees — described as “officers of color” say supervisors at the center kept them from entering or working on the fifth floor where Chauvin is being held on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
From reports by WRDW/WAGT, CNN and The Associated Press