Tensions between local law enforcement and people protesting the death of George Floyd continued to escalate through last night and this morning.
In San Francisco, over 80 people were arrested yesterday for violating the city’s recently enacted curfew. And in Oakland, police arrested over 60 people on suspicions of looting and vandalism, as well as three who are suspected of shooting at the police department headquarters. In response to the chaos, the California Department of Human Resources sent out a directive to close all state buildings with offices in downtown city areas.
Despite the unrest, peaceful protests also gathered steam. This morning, interfaith leaders held a “kneel-in” demonstration at San Francisco City Hall. The kneeling was meant to represent the way Floyd died — under the knee of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The event included speeches from Reverend Amos Brown, prominent faith leaders, and actor Jamie Foxx.
Mayor London Breed also spoke at the event. She admonished those using the protests as a chance for opportunism, while making it clear how personal this issue is for her.
“For those of you who are using this movement as a way to push violence, to go after other black people, to tear us down... we will not tolerate that. I am the mayor but I’m a black woman first. I don’t want to see one more black man die at the hands of law enforcement!”
Other speakers called for action through political engagement, and to hold politicians accountable for the policies that perpetuate systemic racism.