George Floyd

Protests Against Racial Inequality Continue for Ninth Day, Demand Police Reform

Local protests have spanned Chula Vista, La Mesa, downtown San Diego, North Park, Encinitas and Escondido – and touched major cities across the nation all week

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More protests continue Sunday around San Diego County marking the ninth straight day many are honoring the memory of George Floyd, demanding racial equality, and calling for an end to excessive force in the nation's policing.

The local protests have spanned Chula Vista, La Mesa, downtown San Diego, North Park, Encinitas and Escondido – and touched major cities across the nation all week.

Click here to view a photo gallery of protests from around the county.

By 1 p.m. a group of about 50 protesters was seen on the corner of West Hills Parkway and Mast Boulevard holding signs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, prompting an echo of honking horns as cars drove by.

SkyRanger 7 was over the crowd as several deputy cars were seen nearby. At one point the group was seen dancing the Cupid Shuffle.

"We are known for having people that aren't as accepting," said Santee resident Tiffany Sundberg. "Even though there's the history of that, it's not like that anymore. There's small pockets of it, but if we come together as a community then we can show everyone in San Diego and the world that we're not this racist community that people think we are."

By 2:20 p.m. the protesters had moved towards Mast Boulevard spilling into the streets.

"We're here today to give a voice to black people and the oppression of black people, and march for George Floyd," Tyree Collins of La Mesa said.

"Watching that video of George Floyd was another reminder that guy was unassuming like me, like you, like a lot of people here," local Renard Bell said. "If we don't speak out, it will just continue to happen."

As protesters were returning to their cars at a nearby Target, they said self-described defenders reportedly confronted them -- A group has been posted outside the business, in their words, protecting it from looters.

Sheriff's deputies appeared to assume a presence in between the "defenders" and the returning protesters. Minutes later, deputies appear to direct the "defenders" to leave the area.

Santee resident Alex Beckom, a black woman, saw the group drawing attention Sunday afternoon. She described to NBC 7 an unprovoked confrontation with a similar group who claimed to be protecting a CVS Pharmacy from potential looting last weekend.

Beckom was driving through the parking lot with friends, just coming from a nearby protest, when the group began directing slurs toward them and accusing them of trying to loot the store.

"We were in a car, nothing was happening. We were driving through the CVS. We had a Black Lives Matter sign that was maybe something that might have ticked them off, and one of them said, ‘You have a lot of nerve driving through here with this,'" Beckom said.

Then, one of the defenders swiped their sign and confrontation escalated.

“When we tried to get our sign back they kept trying to, like, attack the car and then they started swarming us. I was recording and one of them reached into the car and grabbed my phone, and when I tried to get out of the car another one pulled a knife on me and said, 'Get the F back in the car,'" she said.

Despite her screams, Beckom said no one stepped in to help.

The actions of the group weren't surprising to Beckom, who said she's lived through similar racist experiences in the city since she was 5 years old.

"It’s something that I’ve seen and dealt with my whole life here," she said. "I’ve actually never even had a bad experience with police officers here, it’s always been the people in Santee, unfortunately, so these kind of actions aren’t surprising at all.”

As for Santee's reputation, Beckom said she sees less overt displays of racism but it hasn't disappeared.

"Back in the day people were more actively racist. People would shout that N word at me as I walked down the street. But now a days it’s more passive racism and it’s very small."

NBC 7's Niala Charles is live in Santee walking with protesters.

Chula Vista
By 2 p.m. a group had met up at the Chula Vista Community Park to raise awareness for racial injustice.

The group was heard chanting"Black Lives Matter." This was before they observed 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence in a solemn representation of the final moments of George Floyd’s life.

"We need to get attention, this is a problem. We can't continue to live like this and have one piece of society or five pieces of society not being treated the way all society should be treated," Kim Carter said while marching Sunday.

Aerial footage captured hundreds of protesters marching along Eastlake Parkway in Chula Vista around 3:30 p.m. Protesters held signs and chanted as surrounding cars also sounded off in support.

"So many people in this community are just racist and unaware so I think it's important for us to come out here and spread the message," protester Sarah Davis said.

NBC 7's Claudette Stefanian spoke to protesters about the messages they wanted to share with the community.

A sunset paddle-out at Cardiff State Beach was getting underway around 6 p.m. Before the paddle-out, speakers were invited to share their messages against racial inequality and police brutality with the gathered families.

Organizer Jessica Pride said it was a family protest because children need to be part of the conversation and they learn from what they see.

"If they see their parents standing up, I believe it sends a strong message to them that when they see injustice in the world, they need to stand up for what's right," Pride told NBC 7.

NBC 7's Lauren Coronado has more from those who gathered in Encinitas.

People were expected to gather for protests in other communities like Pacific Beach and Carlsbad.

Curfews Around the County
La Mesa in East San Diego County will remain under curfew for the next several days as the unrest continues in the community rocked by looting, arson, and violence last weekend following peaceful protests.

The city of La Mesa said the curfew would continue Thursday through the early morning hours of Monday (June 8), in effect from 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. each night.

The nearby city of Santee also issued a curfew for Sunday, June 7, from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following morning.

In addition to an extended curfew in La Mesa, U.S. National Guard soldiers were requested by San Diego County to go to La Mesa Wednesday night to help with security.

On Saturday, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher called for the removal of the National Guard Troops from San Diego.

The California National Guard withdrew from San Diego County on Sunday, according to the San Diego Sheriff's Department. More than 7,000 troops
arrived throughout California in the days following the violence of the previous

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