Hundreds Take Over SD Streets to Protest Ferguson Decision

Two separate protests sent hundreds of people onto the streets and onto a freeway of San Diego Tuesday night, leading to arrests the evening after a grand jury decided not to indict white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of black teen Michael Brown.

Traffic came to a halt as crowds set out from the City Heights Performance Annex to march around the San Diego Police Department’s Mid City division. They chanted "Hands up, don't shoot," the phrase that has come to represent all rallies held in Brown's honor.

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"It's showing community participation within this context of showing outrage against violence against people of color," said protester Chase Fite.

About an hour an a half in, protesters marched onto Interstate 15 at University Avenue, forcing California Highway Patrol to issue a Sig Alert. Police and CHP quickly herded the crowd back onto surface streets, but off- and on-ramps to University Ave. were closed.

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Police soon formed a blockade about 35 officers-wide, systematically pushing people back in an effort to regain control of the area.

SDPD says some arrests have been made from the group that went onto the interstate, but they did not release details about what those charges were.

One man in a camouflage shirt was seen being hauled away by officers, who were carrying him by his arms and legs.
At their meeting place, protesters covered the sign for the Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park with a banner that made it read “Michael Brown Memorial Park.” Henwood was an SDPD officer who was gunned down in City Heights while on duty in 2011.

The SDPD told NBC 7 the protest was supposed to be confined to the park, which sits near the Mid City police division, but excitement sparked other plans.

Still, many San Diegans in the crowd advocated for peace across the nation.

"Hold on babies. Don't tear up your place. We're behind you. The world is behind you," one person told NBC 7.

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A second protest originated at the Federal Building, where people listened to speeches before weaving their way through downtown streets.

Chanting "Peace through revolution. Touch one, touch all," the demonstrators held signs that read "No justice, no peace" and "Jail the killer cop."

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At San Diego State University Tuesday, students also stood in solidarity with the Ferguson protesters. Some held their arms in a "hands up" position.

The local activists’ movements are similar dozens of demonstrations across the country that have now entered their second day — though San Diego’s protests have been far more peaceful.

In Ferguson itself, Gov. Jay Nixon has called in over 2,200 National Guardsmen after rioting, looting and fires broke out when the grand jury’s decision was initially announced. The Associated Press reports 61 people were arrested in the St. Louis suburb Monday night.
More than 200 protesters gathered in Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon, forcing road closures. The night before, marches had briefly stopped traffic on Interstate 10.

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In Oakland, 40 people were arrested for a variety of crimes Monday night, and more protests are expected.

Ed. Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the group responsible for covering the sign at Henwood Memorial Park. We regret the error.


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