Protesters Stage “Die-In” at San Diego City Council Inaugural Ceremony

Protesters interrupted the inauguration for the San Diego City Councilmembers on Wednesday.

As incoming Councilman Chris Cate and returning members David Alvarez, Myrtle Cole and Lorie Zapf were sworn in, protesters stood on the sidelines with their hands up in protest.

Approximately two dozen protesters were outside Golden Hall before the 10 a.m. ceremony chanting "I can't breathe" and "Hands up, don't shoot."

The language refers to the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the July death of Eric Garner while being taken into custody by the NYPD. Grand jury decisions in both communities have prompted protests around the country including a violent one just Tuesday night in the Bay Area.

Inside Golden Hall, the protesters were silent. They stood with their hands up at times and then would grasp their necks. Occasionally as a group, the protesters would lay down on the floor. 

None of the city leaders addressed the protesters during the ceremony.

San Diego Police told NBC 7 the protesters were from various colleges in San Diego. Officers were expecting a larger crowd.

City council held a special meeting Wednesday afternoon to vote for its next president. Sherri Lightner was chosen to replace Todd Gloria, who had been council president the past two years. 

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