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Weekend demonstrations extend into Monday as Peninsula residents protest death of George Floyd

Demonstrators gather at Burgess Park in Menlo Park on Monday, June 1. Photo by Kate Bradshaw.

Hundreds of protesters marched through Menlo Park and into Palo Alto on Monday to protest police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last week.

The protest is the latest in a series of public demonstrations since Friday, including two held in Mountain View on Friday and Sunday. Event organizers from the group Mountain View Voices for Peace and Justice say the event attracted as many as 250 people to the intersection of Castro Street and El Camino Real, eliciting supportive honking from passing vehicles.

Protesters gather at Castro Street and El Camino Real in Mountain View on Sunday, May 31, to protest following the death of George Floyd. Photo courtesy of the Mountain View Voices for Peace and Justice

Protests throughout the Bay Area and across the country have proliferated since Friday. Floyd was detained by police officers in a small neighborhood south of Minneapolis on May 25 after he was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a deli. Video footage of the incident shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his right knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The video prompted widespread outrage, including criticism from many law enforcement agencies, with police chiefs throughout the country condemning the officer's actions. Mountain View Police Chief Max Bosel released a statement calling the incident "aberrant, inexcusable and inexplicable," saying it runs contrary to the "tremendous service" officers perform each day.

Chauvin, who was fired after the incident, was arrested on May 29 on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Protesters gather at Castro Street and El Camino Real on Sunday to protest following the death of George Floyd. Photo courtesy of the Mountain View Voices for Peace and Justice

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Organizers of the Mountain View protests urged participants to wear masks and spread out as much as possible to adhere to public safety guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, using all four corners of the popular intersection. They said the public display was not just for the death of Floyd, but other attacks fueled by racism and the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on black and Latino communities.

"We are not only protesting the death of George Floyd and other high-profile killings of African Americans, but the institutional racism that has caused the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color," said Lenny Siegel, a former Mountain View councilman who led the event.

Friday saw large protests in San Jose that extended into Saturday, where participants marched through downtown streets, blocked Highway 101 and in some cases clashed with police. The city later announced a curfew following "civil unrest, including looting and rioting, in the downtown area of San Jose that resulted in arrests, injuries, fire and significant property damage."

An even larger evening protest in Oakland drew thousands of people and, though it started peacefully, by nightfall led to smashed windows, fires and spray-painted buildings.

During his daily press conference on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the protests that have sparked across the state.

Speaking from Genesis Church in south Sacramento, Newsom recognized people's right to peacefully protest, but admonished those who were using the moment to loot businesses and incite violence.

"For those of you out there protesting, I want you to know you matter and I want you to know I care — we care," Newsom said. "You've lost patience, so have I. You are right to feel wronged."

Newsom did not outline any specific plan to address violence or looting during protests, but said the state is working with local leaders and ready to deploy over 4,500 members of the California National Guard.

"The looting, the violence, the threats against fellow human beings — that has no place in this state and in this nation. We as a society need to call that out."

Mountain View police say they have received several questions and concerns about riots occurring elsewhere in the Bay Area, and that the department will take steps to ensure residents can peacefully and safely protest. The department is asking anyone who sees behavior that damages or destroys property to call 9-1-1.

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Lloyd Lee contributed to this report.

Kevin Forestieri

Follow Mountain View Voice Online on Twitter @mvvoice, Facebook and on Instagram @mvvoice for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Weekend demonstrations extend into Monday as Peninsula residents protest death of George Floyd

Uploaded: Mon, Jun 1, 2020, 1:26 pm

Hundreds of protesters marched through Menlo Park and into Palo Alto on Monday to protest police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer last week.

The protest is the latest in a series of public demonstrations since Friday, including two held in Mountain View on Friday and Sunday. Event organizers from the group Mountain View Voices for Peace and Justice say the event attracted as many as 250 people to the intersection of Castro Street and El Camino Real, eliciting supportive honking from passing vehicles.

Protests throughout the Bay Area and across the country have proliferated since Friday. Floyd was detained by police officers in a small neighborhood south of Minneapolis on May 25 after he was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a deli. Video footage of the incident shows Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his right knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The video prompted widespread outrage, including criticism from many law enforcement agencies, with police chiefs throughout the country condemning the officer's actions. Mountain View Police Chief Max Bosel released a statement calling the incident "aberrant, inexcusable and inexplicable," saying it runs contrary to the "tremendous service" officers perform each day.

Chauvin, who was fired after the incident, was arrested on May 29 on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Organizers of the Mountain View protests urged participants to wear masks and spread out as much as possible to adhere to public safety guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, using all four corners of the popular intersection. They said the public display was not just for the death of Floyd, but other attacks fueled by racism and the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on black and Latino communities.

"We are not only protesting the death of George Floyd and other high-profile killings of African Americans, but the institutional racism that has caused the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color," said Lenny Siegel, a former Mountain View councilman who led the event.

Friday saw large protests in San Jose that extended into Saturday, where participants marched through downtown streets, blocked Highway 101 and in some cases clashed with police. The city later announced a curfew following "civil unrest, including looting and rioting, in the downtown area of San Jose that resulted in arrests, injuries, fire and significant property damage."

An even larger evening protest in Oakland drew thousands of people and, though it started peacefully, by nightfall led to smashed windows, fires and spray-painted buildings.

During his daily press conference on Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the protests that have sparked across the state.

Speaking from Genesis Church in south Sacramento, Newsom recognized people's right to peacefully protest, but admonished those who were using the moment to loot businesses and incite violence.

"For those of you out there protesting, I want you to know you matter and I want you to know I care — we care," Newsom said. "You've lost patience, so have I. You are right to feel wronged."

Newsom did not outline any specific plan to address violence or looting during protests, but said the state is working with local leaders and ready to deploy over 4,500 members of the California National Guard.

"The looting, the violence, the threats against fellow human beings — that has no place in this state and in this nation. We as a society need to call that out."

Mountain View police say they have received several questions and concerns about riots occurring elsewhere in the Bay Area, and that the department will take steps to ensure residents can peacefully and safely protest. The department is asking anyone who sees behavior that damages or destroys property to call 9-1-1.

Kevin Forestieri

Comments

Student
another community
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:05 pm
Student, another community
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:05 pm
11 people like this

Four years ago our Rabbi said the following at SJ City Council:
Web Link

Same lesson, different application.


Minority Vet
Castro City
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:43 pm
Minority Vet, Castro City
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:43 pm
21 people like this

Something tells me most of these protesters have never been confronted by the police, rather they just call them to report on us suspicious minorities. Some must never have experienced hostile, aggressive and demeaning encounters with the MVPD as a minority based on your skin color and the poor condition of your car or housing. MV Police are some of the most arrogant and power hungry around unless you're a Karen or a Chad or a BBQ Becky who feeds their egos, compliments them on their fancy gear, or engages in the required first responder hero worshipping. MVPD also one of the most militarized forces around, with M4 automatic carbines strapped to their motorcycles even! Seriously? M4 carbines? Those are weapons of war. What place do they have with a small town like MV? And don't forget the City Council has approved their posture, so they are equally to blame, including Mr. Siegel.


Law Obeer
another community
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:52 pm
Law Obeer, another community
on Jun 1, 2020 at 2:52 pm
16 people like this

Many of these so called protestors are actually rioters who just needed an excuse to steal, beat up shopkeepers, burn cars, and throw rocks, firecrackers and Molotov Cocktails at police.


skold4@pacbell.net
Monta Loma
on Jun 1, 2020 at 3:36 pm
skold4@pacbell.net, Monta Loma
on Jun 1, 2020 at 3:36 pm
6 people like this

Thank you, minority vet, for sharing your experience with the MVPD. You are absolutely right that us white folks have no idea what its like to live as a person of color in Mountain View. We should not judge the behavior of our police based on our own experience, or the statements of the police chief, but learn from the experience of people of color. For starters, we should all demand that City Council rescind their approval of the use of military weaponry by our police and demilitarize the police force.


Constitution O'beer
Bailey Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 4:25 pm
Constitution O'beer, Bailey Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 4:25 pm
Like this comment

"Many of these"

wow. Many? Some people say.... you really went out on a limb there, obeer.


Billy Bob
Blossom Valley
on Jun 1, 2020 at 4:29 pm
Billy Bob, Blossom Valley
on Jun 1, 2020 at 4:29 pm
10 people like this

Thank you Lenny Siegel for helping organizing this protest .This is what you can expect from him if elected in November . We need solutions to our problems not angry people running around El Camino Real yelling at people


The Business Man
Castro City
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:16 pm
The Business Man, Castro City
on Jun 1, 2020 at 7:16 pm
2 people like this

In response to Billy Bob you said:

“Thank you Lenny Siegel for helping organizing this protest .This is what you can expect from him if elected in November . We need solutions to our problems not angry people running around El Camino Real yelling at people”

They were not yelling at people. They were demonstrating the incredible failure of law enforcement having self discipline. They were saying that violence done by law enforcement is not allowed and must be penalized and controlled. They were using their first amendment rights. They were disciplined and did not threaten anyone nor any property.

This demonstrates the beliefs you have, you do not respect others rights except those that agree with you.


Billy Bob
Bailey Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:47 pm
Billy Bob, Bailey Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:47 pm
13 people like this

Business blunder then I guess the protester that swore at my daughter and flipped her off was being respectful .


Billy Bob
Bailey Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:53 pm
Billy Bob, Bailey Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 8:53 pm
Like this comment

[Post removed and poster banned for making violent threats]


Lenny Siegel
Old Mountain View
on Jun 1, 2020 at 11:04 pm
Lenny Siegel, Old Mountain View
on Jun 1, 2020 at 11:04 pm
6 people like this

Mountain View Voices for Peace and Justice will return to Castro and El Camino Real this Friday, June 5, 2020 at 6:00 pm for another protest. It will be non-confrontational and non-destructive, but it will probably be loud.

Both to expand our visibility and maintain our social distance, we ask that people spread out down the sidewalks on all four corners. Wear masks and bring signs.

We urge people who feel unsafe in crowds – a reasonable concern during the pandemic – to do a “rolling rally.” Place signs safely on your cars, and honk as you drive past the sidewalk-based protesters. Several people did this on Sunday.

Join us.


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 11:34 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Jun 1, 2020 at 11:34 pm
4 people like this

I see protesters are against police brutality and "institutional racism." But what changes in the law or other things do they propose? I saw Senator Kamala Harris on television Sunday suggesting the law be changed to clarify when the use of force by police becomes a crime by police. Police have special duties and powers regarding search and seizure - including of people. Sometimes they must use physical force to do their jobs - even killing criminal suspects who will not surrender. The 19-year "veteran" policeman who (mainly) killed George Floyd was fired and has now been charged and arrested. If the officer had been on the Palo Alto Police force, for example, would he have been fired or arrested or prosecuted? Most protesters probably have no clue and no proposal for any change. Maybe by Friday's protest they will be ready with proposals.


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 4:56 am
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 4:56 am
6 people like this

Sideshow aside, Friday's next local protest is approaching fast. What will the protesters propose - beyond sudden societal enlightenment? So one more cheat sheet from U.S. Senator Kamala Harris you was DA of San Francisco before serving 8 years as California's Attorney General. Senator Harris said in Monday's interview that county DA's should not be in charge of deciding whether to prosecute police in their counties. It should be the CA AG's Office.Consider this: how many bad apples were there in the Minneapolis Police Department last week? Who hired and trained them? Who had the authority to fire 4 of them? For what? With what safeguards. Can anyone see that body-cam footage - or only if officers admit the camera had been on? Does it matter on this issue who is President, Vice-President, Governor, Attorney General (federal and state) and so on? Until Monday, how many protesters even knew the name of the U.S. Secretary of Defense? What proportion of high school students not on the football team want to be police officers? And why?


Lenny Siegel
Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2020 at 6:54 am
Lenny Siegel, Old Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2020 at 6:54 am
Like this comment

I have been following the exchange about reported verbal abuse at the Mountain View demonstration on Sunday. Having stood at that corner for decades to protest wars and abuse of power, I have been sworn at and have heard demonstrators swear. When a group of a couple of hundred people, most of whom do not know each other, come together, we can discourage such verbal behavior. But we cannot prevent it.

However, Mountain View Voices for Peace and Justice has a steady history of holding non-confrontational, non-destructive demonstrations at that location, and I am confident we can keep it that way.


Scott
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:21 am
Scott, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 2, 2020 at 8:21 am
3 people like this

^^Gary, These people don't want change. They want to blame someone else for the issues they bring on themselves. They have taken an issue where 99% of Americans agreed prosecutions were needed and turned most off with their abhorrent behavior. They reliably vote for the same political critters that put them in this situation from the Governors seat, state AG's & mayors to the local council-members and police chiefs. MN is blue from top to bottom and their AG Ellison and his family are ardent Antifa supporters. What could go wrong? One party blue rule and when the entirely predictable results of their voting actions yield entirely predictable results the cure they propose is always more cowbell. Personal responsibility is conspicuously absent from any and all discussion. Let's go make some noise downtown.. because "change".


Gary
Sylvan Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:16 pm
Gary, Sylvan Park
on Jun 2, 2020 at 12:16 pm
6 people like this

Let's not get distracted by whether a protester disagreed with a passerby. Evidently, there is state and federal legislation to improve policing pending and cross-referenced. Maybe organizers in Mountain View will post that link. But passing legislation requires support from the legislators and chief executives. So, for one thing, you need to know where politicians stand and figure out how to influence or replace them. But how about starting with Mountain View or Palo Alto? Is any change needed locally. What change? The police here are rather well paid. See TransparentCalifornia.com. The local police unions endorse candidates for city council. The city council seems to rarely address anything about police operations. The police chief answers only to the city manager. There is no commission or committee locally on police practices. Some years ago, retired judge LaDoris Cordell met with a MV commission and discussed avoiding the escalation of force by police. But that commission does not investigate complaints about police. A couple of years ago, the Palo Alto City Council adopted a law requiring an annual report to the city on use of surveillance by police. The firs report was due a year ago. No such report has been presented.


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