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Monday March In Sacramento Largely Peaceful As Crowd Remembers Those Killed By Police

Say Their Names Sac - Nixon.jpg
Andrew Nixon/CapRadio
Demonstrators march in downtown Sacramento, protesting the death of George Floyd and other victims of police violence, Monday, June 1, 2020.

A round-up of the ongoing protests in Sacramento as city officials declared an 8:00 p.m. curfew that many protesters chose to disobey.

Monday, June 1

11 p.m.: Monday march unlike Sacramento weekend protests

After about two hours of marching around downtown Sacramento and the neighborhood of Alkali Flat, the crowd of several hundred people protesting the Minnesota police killing of George Floyd and other unarmed black people almost entirely went home.

“I have a son and I am worried about his future, that is what this is about,” said Solana Kranenburg who marched Monday night. “As for small businesses being hurt, it’s sad, but our voices are being heard.”

Stevante Clark, the brother of Stephon Clark who was killed by Sacramento police in 2018, took control of the march after the prayer meeting at Cesar Chavez Plaza.

He told the crowd that any violence on the streets would be an affront to his brother’s legacy. Clark stopped the group in a couple places, like the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office, and had the crowd take a knee, raise their cellphones and hold moments of silence.

“We’re not trying to destroy this district attorney’s office, we’re not trying to hurt no officers,” said Clark. “Let’s not show them our anger.”

He led the crowd away from the county jail, where standoffs between demonstrators and law enforcement resulted in tear gas, rubber bullets and burning furniture just two days before.

Clark also presented demands. It’s the first concise list since demonstrations began Friday. “We’re gonna start our deescalation tactical team, we’re gonna do a cleanup crew for these protests, and we’re also gonna get out there and make sure we start these resources for these kids,” he said.

When people climbed onto national guard tanks or tried to provoke officers the demonstrators shamed them saying, “this is not what we are about.”

“He can guide them into a better direction,” said Alfred Tabarez marching along with the crowd. “Instead of being violent, they can choose a different route and have their voices heard. It’s not always about destruction but about making sure your voice is heard.”

The city enacted a curfew beginning at 8 p.m., but that didn’t stop the march from continuing on. It meandered through downtown Sacramento, but police and national guard presence forced the crowd to stay in the area around city hall.

“I don’t care about the curfew,” said Sara Lee, a social worker in the region. “I’m a taxpayer and we pay for these streets.”

Keiara Thomas took the lightrail home before the curfew began saying she was unsure how she’d get home otherwise, but supported the movement.

“I’m surprised this got so big in Sacramento because it’s so diverse here, but then again George’s death was entirely on video,” she said.

Others found out about the curfew at the protest and said they have questions about why it was put into place so late in the evening.

“I didn't know about the curfew until right now,” said Alicia Cooper who works at PF Changs in Downtown Sacramento, which people broke into Sunday night. “I feel like they should give us 24 hours notice.”

The night ended where it began at Cesar Chavez Plaza. Most people went home and protest organizers actively attempted to get those lingering to go home. Media outlets reported on Twitter that some people who stayed were arrested.

8:12 p.m.: Crowds remain downtown after curfew order

As expected, marches continued in downtown Sacramento after its 8 p.m. curfew order.

“I don’t care about the curfew. I’m a taxpayer and we pay for these streets,” demonstrator Sarah Lee said.

6:30 p.m.: Prayer gathering starts at Cesar Chavez Plaza

Starting around 5 p.m. demonstrators gathered at Cesar Chavez Plaza downtown, shortly before the announcement of the 8 p.m. curfew Monday evening.

With the event scheduled to end at 7 p.m., organizers encouraged those in attendance to leave before the curfew took effect. Still, some at the plaza said they planned to stay out through the curfew.

"We shouldn’t have to respect that curfew because [police] don’t respect our boundaries,” 17-year-old Jasmine Williams said.

Others planned to adhere to the new curfew. Elk Grove resident Pierre Wheeler, out with teen sons Michael and Ali, said they’ll head home after curfew.

He said he’s had to teach his boys how to stay safe from law enforcement

“Be respectful, no ma’am, yes ma’am ... don’t give them any reason to push them there,” he said.

5:30 p.m.: Mayor Darrell Steinberg, city council announce citywide curfew

Sacramento City Council voted Monday to declare a local public emergency and set a citywide curfew starting at 8 p.m. following vandalism, break-ins and theft by some demonstrators this weekend. The city has published an FAQ page on the curfew here.

Here are some of the details:

  • The curfew runs from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • No person can stay on city streets
  • No business can stay open to the public
  • People can travel to and from work
  • People can seek emergency medical care
  • The order doesn't apply to law enforcement, military personnel, firefighters, medical personnel, or news media.

4:12 p.m.: California National Guard arriving in Sacramento in preparation for more protests

Today, approximately 500 California National Guard troops started arriving in Sacramento to assist law enforcement following a weekend of protests, the city announced.

The National Guard will assist the city and county of Sacramento in “protecting key infrastructure,” according to the city. They arrive following two days in which peaceful protests during the day transitioned into more destructive demonstrations at night as some groups vandalized, broke into and stole from businesses in downtown and Midtown.

Officials say the National Guard arriving today will help additional Sacramento Police officers respond to reports of violence and destruction of property.

The city of Sacramento and the Sacramento Police Department made the request for more assistance on Sunday. The National Guard has already been in Sacramento for several weeks helping with food distribution and working on the field hospital at Sleep Train Arena.

The National Guard has already been deployed in Los Angeles and Long Beach, and is currently on standby in San Francisco.

The Sacramento City Council is meeting at 3:30 p.m. to discuss details of its planned curfew and how it will be enforced.

2:42 p.m.: Prayer gathering planned Monday evening in Sacramento

A prayer gathering for victims of police violence is being held Monday at 5 p.m. at Cesar Chavez Plaza, as Sacramento determined how it will implement a planned curfew after nights of demonstrations and property damage.

The event is hosted by the Anti Police-Terror Project. The group recommends people bring food and water, wear personal protective equipment and practice social distancing.

The group says it will end its event before any curfew takes effect, telling attendees to "Please understand the risk you will be assuming if you stay out past curfew, and make sure you are really willing and able to assume that risk."

9:36 a.m.: Volunteers help clean up downtown Sacramento

Community members answered the call to help clean up broken windows and tagged properties following a weekend of protests in downtown Sacramento.

The Downtown Sacramento Partnership put out a call on social media Monday morning, asking for help with the clean up efforts.

The partnership asked volunteers to wear face masks and to bring supplies, from brooms to trash bags.

9:15 a.m.: Sacramento under curfew starting Monday night
After peaceful protests against the police killing of George Floyd ended with violent confrontations, property theft and vandalism in Sacramento over the weekend, Mayor Darrell Steinberg announced the city will be placed under a curfew Monday night.

“After two nights of this, I think it’s time to ratchet it up," Steinberg said during a press conference.

He also said he is still considering whether to call on the National Guard to help with the demonstrations.

“A lot of this (holding up a rock) is coming from outside of our community,” Steinberg said. “It is well organized. We heard all kinds of reports that people on bikes, with phones, are organizing the various movements around town.”

The city council is holding a closed meeting to discuss the curfew at 2 p.m. Monday. The curfew could start at either 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.

“We are not going to tolerate people destroying our community,” said Steinberg.

8:00 a.m.: State offices closed due to George Floyd protests
Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to address the statewide demonstrations and police confrontations during a press conference at 12 p.m. Monday.

In a memo to state departments, the California Highway Patrol and the governor’s office advised them to close offices in downtown and city areas due to “escalating conditions.”

Sacramento police officers say 25 people were arrested Sunday night following weekend protests against police violence and the killing of George Floyd.

Copyright 2020 CapRadio

Emily Zentner
Sammy Caiola
Ezra David Romero