Police Brutality Rally at City Hall

Rally on Sunday gathers those speaking out against recent officer involved shootings
Photo Courtesy: Gabriel Nuanez

Gabriel Nuanez
Special to El Observador

On the afternoon of Sunday July 10th, several protesters gathered together in front of City Hall, speaking out against police brutality and all the recent tragic events that have gone along with it.

As a participant of the event, I’ve felt a great amount of the swirling emotions of those surrounding me while being there. Several signs were being held high with large bold fonts, reading statements such as “Black Lives Matter”, “We Demand Justice”, and “No More Blood On Blue Hands!”. Everyone was quite emotional; sad, confused, but more specifically, angry. With megaphones in their hands, a handful of protesters spoke to the crowd, shouting how we the people need to come together as a group and prevent more tragic events, just as last week’s deadly one’s, from happening.

As people continued to speak into the megaphones amongst the crowd, many began to unravel as they started including a great amount of profanity into what they were saying. Two San Jose Police Department deputies were watching from the atop the City Hall building, and with the microphones, protesters were cursing and swearing at them from below. It was not necessary to say all the harsh words directed towards these two police men. They weren’t doing anything and were just observing.

I think as the more violent the protest got verbally, more people wanted to speak out because everyone was pumped up. So, one of the crowd members asked to speak, and it just so happens he used to be a police officer for 8 years. Before he spoke, he thought he was going to get “boo’d” for speaking his thoughts. Well, it turns out he was actually supported by all those surrounding him. He mentioned that in order for us to make a difference, ” We need more of this.” More of us getting together and speaking out for what we believe. In addition, he also stated that we need to “change the system” from the “inside out”. Many seemed to agree, based on all the claps coming from the crowd.

Further on into the protest, the loud and noisy group of protesters took their shouts to the streets. Everyone gathered in a large line, and began marching up East Santa Clara Street. Being right in the smack-middle of the street, all the cars passed slowly, with people honking their car horns for support, and pulling out their phones to snap a photo or video of all the action. All the loud shouts and yells coming from the group filled the streets with the repeated chant of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”. Shortly after, police vehicles began to pull up behind the marching protesters and spoke into their microphones, saying what was now happening on the street was illegal, and that they’d have to pull to the sidewalk. Of course, many shouted back and everyone kept on walking, ignoring the rules of the policemen. The crowd continued to walk up the street for a majority of the time.

After looking back over the whole thing, I think a lot of the people getting involved in these protests are expressing themselves too violently. It seemed unnecessary with some of the things many of the young teens and adults were saying. But even with all that, I still enjoyed the whole event and it was quite the experience to witness everything and hear a great amount of the stories people shared to the crowd. I heard from Jazmin Lopez, one of the participating protesters, that one person was arrested toward the end. I was unable to see this happen.

It’s great that we come together as a community and join up for what we believe in, I just don’t think it should be ending up in violence.