Black Lives Matter Protesters Confront Police, Briefly Shut Down Board of Supes Meeting - NBC Bay Area

Black Lives Matter Protesters Confront Police, Briefly Shut Down Board of Supes Meeting

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Actions are planned across the Bay Area and the nation Tuesday to protest police killings, according to organizers. Mark Matthews reports. (Published Tuesday, April 14, 2015)

    Black Lives Matter protesters confronted police in San Francisco City Hall Tuesday to protest recent police killings and demand racial equality. Actions are planned across the Bay Area and the nation Tuesday, according to organizers.

    In the Bay Area, protests in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and San Jose are among actions planned in more than 30 cities in 18 states. The protests are the latest in months of demonstrations nationwide, sparked by the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York.

    A police officer shooting and killing Walter Scott in South Carolina was recently caught on video, once again stirring outrage over police killings of unarmed black people.

    Protesters gathered at noon with San Francisco Supervisors John Avalos and David Campos as well as numerous community leaders to highlight solutions to the growing economic gap in the city.

    Protesters chanted "Mayor Lee can't you see, inequality is killing me," held signs that read "Black And Brown Lives Matter" and listed the names of dozens of black individuals who were killed by police so far in 2015.

    Many protesters said they were disappointed with how the city has handled racist and homophobic text messages sent between San Francisco police officers.

    They maintained that officers under investigation for involvement in such activities should be placed on unpaid, not paid, administrative leave and supported independent investigations into the matter.

    Avalos aired his frustration with what he said is growing inequality and racial profiling in America and what he called "the lip service" paid to the cause.

    He said the city is dealing with racial profiling and racial discrimination.

    Avalos said that black individuals in the Bayview District are under constant surveillance and racially profiled, but said if you're white and "If you're out there partying in Dolores Park, nothing happens."

    Supervisor Campos said the city has the fastest growing inequality of any city in the country and that if San Francisco were a country, it "would be up there with Rwanda," in terms of inequality.

    "We have had enough," Campos said today.

    Protesters then briefly shut down the supervisors' 2 p.m. weekly meeting, chanting "no justice, no peace, no racist police."

    Protesters targeted Supervisor Malia Cohen, who represents the Bayview, and board president London Breed, who represents the Western Addition neighborhood, chanting "Shame on you" at the two black, female supervisors.

    Shortly after the meeting was set to begin, Breed announced that the Board of Supervisors meeting was adjourned until further notice.

    Some protesters said they were appalled that Breed left the chambers after declaring the meeting adjourned instead of listening to their concerns.

    Amos Brown, San Francisco branch president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was in the crowd this afternoon and said, "I know that business as usual has been interrupted, but there comes a time when we the oppressed must rise up."

    He said the racist cops need to be fired and encouraged the dozens of people in attendance today to go to the San Francisco Police Commission's meeting at 5 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall.

    Protesters then went into the atrium of City Hall and continued protesting despite a heavy presence of sheriff's deputies wearing riot gear.

    The Board of Supervisors meeting later resumed around 2:45 p.m.

    Similar actions were taking place in the city's Mission District and in Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose and across the nation Tuesday in protest of recent police killings of unarmed black men.

    Bay City News contributed to this report.

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