As the San Diego Police Department investigates a fatal officer-involved shooting this week, more than 100 demonstrators gathered in City Heights Thursday to protest police violence.
The group, rallying at the Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park, called for an end to law enforcement brutality which, they say, includes the killing of Lamontez Ardelbert Jones, a 39-year-old black man.
Jones was fatally shot by two SDPD motorcycle officers Tuesday in the Gaslamp Quarter when he pulled a replica gun from his backpack and pointed it at the officers, police say.
“Just another case where police used the ultimate device on a black person,” said activist Michelle Macrorie.
But SDPD Capt. Bernie Colon said Tuesday’s shooting was justified.
“Anytime an officer feels threatened for their life or the public, they are going to take the action that’s going to be taken. That may include shooting,” said Colon.
During the rally, the protesters covered up the memorial for slain Officer Jeremy Henwood, which is placed across from the SDPD’s City Heights substation. Henwood was killed sitting in his patrol car in 2011 when a suspect opened fire.
One organizer said protesters covered the memorial so they can focus their attention on victims of police brutality.
“Yes, it hurts a little bit,” said Colon. “At the same time, we have to allow them their rights, to have their First Amendment rights.”
Thursday’s march was part of an annual National Day of Protesting, so several activists representing a variety of causes participated.
"Injustice happening to any of us is injustice to all of us," said Macrorie.