Groups of demonstrators hit the streets around San Diego County marching, chanting and holding protest signs to honor the memory of George Floyd, to demand racial equity, and to call for an end to excessive force in the nation's policing.
Saturday marked the eighth straight day of protests in San Diego County and echoed demonstrations around the globe to address racial injustice.
Locally, protesters have gathered with signs in masses determined to share their message with all who will listen.
“Of course we are demanding what I think the whole country is -- and that is social justice. Of course, without social justice, the situation is what you see,” said one demonstrator in Carmel Valley. “Definitely everyone in this country is asking for some change.”
Downtown San Diego
A large group of about 3,000 protesters met at the County Administration Building on Pacific Highway at around 10:45 a.m., San Diego Police said. The group marched on Ash Street then turned north on Sixth Avenue towards Hillcrest to the Pride Flag.
By 1 p.m., as demonstrators made their way to Hillcrest, the front of the group was linked hand-in-hand as they chanted "I Can't Breathe," "Black Lives Matter," and the names of black lives that had been taken at the hands of law enforcement officers across the nation in recent years.
A marching band playing joyous tunes led the demonstrators on their march.
To facilitate the protesters, SDPD blocked several streets from downtown to Hillcrest to make way for their march. University Avenue was shut down for some time.
At around 1:30 p.m. the group began walking back west on University Avenue as they made their way back to the County Administration Building.
Another group of protesters met at 1 p.m. at Waterfront Park along the Embarcadero. They planned to march to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department headquarters on Fourth Avenue to raise awareness about police brutality.
SDPD estimated the crowd to be 400 or more.
By 2 p.m. the crowd had reached the headquarters where they were met with dozens of police officers taking guard of the building. After a while, the crowd was seen taking a knee and raising their fists in front of the officers.
Black Lives Matter of San Diego hosted a caravan protest Saturday that traveled to different locations around San Diego County. Organizers said the caravan demonstration was to remember "black people who have been killed and harmed by state-sanctioned violence."
Hundreds of cars were seen on Torrey Pines Road driving towards their first destination at around 12:30 p.m.
The caravan planned to travel to various locations across the county, including the Polinsky Center, the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility in Santee, the Pride Flag in Hillcrest, and Donovan Correctional Facility.
Click here to view a photo gallery of protests from around the county.
A march began at 9 a.m. at the Carmel Valley Recreation Center, then headed to El Camino Real and then Del Mar Heights Road. Organizers told NBC 7 this protest was to stand in solidarity against racial injustice, too. The march was peaceful, and followed by the police department.
Once at the busy intersection near the Del Mar Highlands shopping center, about 50 people held signs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, prompting an echo of honking horns as cars drove by.
Several protesters said it was their first protest in support of the movement, including a demonstrator named Christopher who joined the group during his lunch break. Christopher said he wants to see reform in the judicial and criminal justice system.
“I’m frustrated. This is only what little we can do, we can definitely do more,” he said.
He said he felt mostly support from the cars that passed by.
“It’s all been love, it’s been passion,” he said. “Nothing but love and support, good energy which I think is something we all need right now as well.”
Hundreds of surfers gathered at Tourmaline Surf Park in Pacific Beach for a paddle out in honor of George Floyd.
During the “Paddle for Peace,” surfers were silent for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the exact amount of time Floyd was held down, gasping for air, as a Minneapolis police officer held his knee to Floyd's neck.
Surfers told NBC 7 they wanted to show support for the protests against police brutality and they felt a paddle out was a great way for them to become involved in the movement.
“I was just raised by a family that’s all people. And, when you surf or you play sports or you're out in life, you don’t see colors, you just see people and you see the emotion and this is definitely something I want to be apart of,” said Patrick Magnotta, who attended Paddle for Peace in PB.
“I want to be part of the movement, Black Lives Matter. And, it’s time that all of America realizes that, recognizes that and then also takes action for it,” added Ashlyn Coen, at the same gathering.
San Diego police were at the Paddle for Peace, which was peaceful the entire time.
People also gathered for other protests Saturday in communities like downtown Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, Santee, and La Mesa.
Friday Night Protests
Around 500 protestors briefly closed the State Route 78 at Broadway Friday in Escondido. Demonstrators marched from city hall to the highway near the end of the evening commute.
San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore tweeted on Saturday, "All of Friday's demonstrations in sheriff's department jurisdictions were peaceful. We will always support the public's right to free speech and assembly. We encourage the peaceful gathering of people. We respect your right to be heard. Thank you."