Dozens of individuals gathered Sunday night in San Francisco’s Mission District to protest the police division’s dealing with of an annual “hill bomb” skateboarder occasion close to Dolores Park that ended with officers in riot gear arresting greater than 100 folks.
Eighty-one youngsters and 32 adults had been taken into custody Saturday after what San Francisco Police Chief William Scott referred to as “harmful and illegal habits,” together with vandalism damaging a number of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Company automobiles.
All through the day Sunday, neighborhood representatives, elected officers and residents weighed in on Saturday’s occasions on social media. Some thanked police for his or her response to the gathering, the ensuing harm and the method of reuniting detaining teenagers with their guardians, whereas others excoriated the officers’ response.
Protesters carried indicators with slogans together with “no justice no peace, queer liberation not police occupation” and “housing now, SFPD by no means.” One other slogan focused San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, whose district contains Dolores Park and who expressed approval of how officers responded Saturday. “Mandelman hates poor folks,” these indicators learn.
Gary McCoy of the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Membership was amongst these gathering Sunday.
“We had been outraged with what we noticed, what was taking place final evening,” McCoy stated. “The way in which that our youth of San Francisco had been approached and instructed to disperse by seeing police and navy gear, riot gear, holding up weapons, pointing to weapons.
“That is not the way you deal with the state of affairs. It is actually not the way you strategy youngsters which can be having a great time,” he continued. “It is an occasion that occurs yearly. … Correct planning may’ve prevented that. Correct de-escalation may have prevented youngsters sitting on the bottom out within the chilly for six hours earlier than they had been lastly launched to their mother and father. It is simply unconscionable, the way in which that the oldsters had been handled.”
Learn extra: SF Police Arrest 81 Teenagers, 32 Adults at Dolores Park ‘Hill Bomb’
The protest befell at Clarion Alley, a number of hundred ft away from the police’s Mission Station on Valencia Road close to seventeenth Road. At one level, as an officer appeared on from a balcony on the station, demonstrators chanted, “stop your job.”
Round 7:30 p.m., after a lineup of audio system criticized police techniques in civil and less-than-civil language, some demonstrators swung again throughout Valencia to the alley to greet buddies and share plans.
A demonstrator who recognized herself as Ruby Louise stated she believed skateboarding is criminalized “primarily as a result of it is like a free expression of children, poor folks and other people of shade. The cops will simply use any excuse to arrest poor folks, folks of shade and activists, just about something.”
She stated she didn’t know anybody who had been detained Saturday. “I present as much as help folks and let the cops know that they cannot get away with that shit,” she stated.
One other protester, Timothy Gould, stood in Clarion Alley with a longboard and a considerate look on his face. He stated he additionally did not know anybody who had been detained Saturday, however got here out nonetheless after listening to concerning the protest on Instagram.
“The explanation why I am right here and why all of us are right here is due to what occurred in Mission Dolores Park yesterday. The police had been attacking skate boarders who had been having their annual skateboard rally,” he stated. “This gathering is for all of us.”
McCoy expressed irritation that police incessantly say they’re understaffed, but apparently had the manpower to arrest so many individuals Saturday at the same time as they battle to answer automotive break-ins and different incidents. He questioned why police do not focus extra power on arresting drug sellers as an alternative of skateboarding youth.
The town’s dealing with of 4/20—the longtime custom of San Francisco tolerating public marijuana use on April 20 even earlier than legalization—may function a attainable mannequin for the way the town may have dealth with Saturday’s occasions, he added.
“Why aren’t our elected officers reaching out to folks and say, ‘hey, can we make this secure and the way can we help this occasion and that that is the way it needs to be?’” McCoy stated. “We sanctioned 4/20. … The town received in and so they supported that as a result of it was one thing that was going to occur yearly no matter whether or not the police division thought it was okay or not.”