Less than two weeks after a white police officer in South Carolina was charged with murder following a video recording that showed him shooting and killing Walter Scott–a fleeing, unarmed black man–“Black Lives Matter” protesters have taken to the street of San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley again in an attempt to “stop business as usual” and to “demand justice.”
Six protesters were arrested in San Francisco and a woman was briefly detained in Oakland as police tried to turn away protesters who blocked Intestate 80 in San Francisco and Interstate 880 in downtown Oakland, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The protesters joined thousands of others throughout the nation who were prompted by the South Carolina killing. At one point, the protesters reportedly spilled into the City Council chambers, chanting and blowing their whistles, before returning to the streets as police officers stood in a row and monitored their actions in silence, the Chronicle notes.
Latino lives were also brought into the mix as protesters expressed outrage over recent San Francisco police shootings that killed Alex Nieto and Amilcar Perez-Lopez. Nieto had reportedly pointed a Taser, which was mistaken for a gun, at four police officers who fired a total of 59 shots. Lopez, a Guatemalan immigrant, was allegedly stealing a bike and had allegedly been chasing his victim with a knife, but was shot when he failed to respond to officer’s commands. He died at the scene.
The deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York prompted the protests on a national scale last fall. In both cases, grand juries declined to indict the police officers involved.
The U.S. Department of Justice exonerated the officer in Ferguson, finding that he had likely acted in self-defense and that Brown had neither raised his hands in surrender nor said, “don’t shoot,” as activists once claimed.
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