La Mesa

County Requests National Guard in La Mesa for Security Assistance

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National Guard soldiers were deployed in La Mesa Wednesday night, requested by San Diego County to assist with security.

The county requested security assistance from the National Guard for the entire region, according to an alert message from the city of La Mesa. The message said National Guard service members may be seen in other parts of the county.

NBC 7 reporter Dave summers captured video of National Guard vehicles arriving at City Hall.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said California Governor Gavin Newsom had ordered 200 National Guard soldiers to the San Diego region during a phone interview with NBC 7 Wednesday evening.

NBC 7's Catherine Garcia interviewed San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore on the banning use of the carotid restraint.

La Mesa, a city in eastern San Diego County, saw the first mass protests in the region last Saturday. Saturday's demonstration was in response to the in-custody killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis days before, and was also in response to a controversial arrest of a black man by a La Mesa Police Department officer which was went viral on social media.

Protesters formed a large crowd in front of the police department and city hall buildings, chanting in unison and holding signs. Instigators who, according to Mayor Mark Araposthathis, hijacked the protest "in a concerted effort to burn down the city," also descended on the buildings Saturday night.

As per request from the county, the National Guard was deployed to La Mesa to assist with security and may be seen in other cities.

The resulting unrest led to tear gas and other crowd-dispersing tactics being used. The crowd soon dispersed, but violent instigators spread to nearby business strips and shopping centers.

Two bank buildings and a museum were burned, and several other fires were set to vehicles and stores in the downtown area.

"Although we were prepared with as many uniformed officers as we were provisioned from the county, from other jurisdictions, and also from the state, we were outnumbered," Arapsthathis said.

Photos: La Mesa Protest on May 30, 2020

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