San Diegans March in Solidarity With Baltimore Protesters - NBC 7 San Diego

San Diegans March in Solidarity With Baltimore Protesters



    San Diegans March in Solidarity With Baltimore Residents

    NBC 7's Danya Bacchus reports from City Heights where dozens gathered to show solidarity with those protesting in Baltimore, Maryland. (Published Thursday, April 30, 2015)

    Demonstrators in San Diego are taking action in solidarity with Baltimore protesters, organizing a march of their own Wednesday evening.

    Chanting "No justice, no peace, no racist police," the groups say the issues in Baltimore mirror those faced in San Diego.

    Protests on the East Coast city turned violent Monday after the funeral for Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after suffering mysterious spinal cord injuries in police custody.

    In San Diego, about 100 people marched around the Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park in City Heights to stand against problems between officers and the community.

    "Whether we choose to admit it and choose to deal with it or not, is up to our political leaders," said protester Bryan Kim over shouts of "All night, all day, we will fight for Freddie Gray."

    "And I think it's pretty clear, from the community behind us, that there's the will to make it happen, he added."

    Organizers say cities across the country need more police accountability, but some do not agree with taking their grievances too far. They want a peaceful protest, unlike the rioting, burning and looting that has occurred in Baltimore this week.

    “We have issues here too, and how we can approach that from a solution-based mindset versus a damaging mindset in which we are going out and damaging things in order to prove our point,” said Pastor Shane Harris with National Action Network.

    He said they can prove their point through silent, peaceful demonstrations, as well as strategizing in community meetings and town halls.

    In a statement, San Diego Police said their thoughts and prayers are with both the Baltimore officers and the community.

    “We absolutely support their First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The vast majority of these gatherings are law abiding, peaceful events needing no law enforcement action,” the statement reads.

    More than 200 people have been arrested in Baltimore as tensions between protesters and police turned into riots, forcing leaders to call in 3,000 police and National Guardsmen. But on Wednesday, demonstrations took on a calmer tone as the city enforced an emergency curfew.

    Other cities across the country also held solidarity marches, including New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Minneapolis and Indianapolis.