SAN MARCOS — Residents of San Marcos protested near Cal State University San Marcos on Monday as part of a nationwide Black Lives Matter movement that was sparked on Memorial Day by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Around 75 to 100 people stood at four corners of the intersection at Craven Rd. and S Twin Oaks Valley Rd. holding signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” “I Can’t Breathe,” “No Justice, No Peace,” “Stop the Killing” and more.
“We’re here because something needs to be done,” said David, who came to the protest with his two daughters and a few signs. “Enough is enough. George Floyd deserves justice and so does every single Black person who lives in this country and continues to be targeted.”
The protest remained peaceful as the crowd would often break into chants of “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace.” Cars honked their horns as they drove by, fists in the air, cheering in solidarity.
“I think it’s so important to be able to express your anger and frustration in the form of protesting, we have a right to assemble,” said Margaret, a protester who was holding a sign with her husband. “However, I think it should be done as peacefully as possible, otherwise more people are going to get hurt.”
The event was one of hundreds demonstrations taking place in cities across the U.S. on Monday as protesters continue to demand justice for the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old African American male who was arrested on May 25 in Minneapolis for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill.
Video taken of the arrest shows former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, including nearly three minutes after Floyd became unconscious. Floyd can be heard on video saying “I can’t breathe,” several times before he died.
Chauvin was arrested last Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers who witnessed the incident without intervening have been fired, but have not been arrested or charged despite the nationwide outcry.
Two autopsies released on Monday, one by the county medical examiner and the other by independent pathologists commissioned by Floyd’s family, declared Floyd’s death to be a homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain.
Protests have taken place all over the country since Floyd’s death, with some escalating to looting and violence and arrests, and even resulting in some deaths.
“People are angry. We have been oppressed and killed by police for too long, and I think we’ve reached a point where we just can’t take it anymore,” said Brandon, a college student who was protesting with his girlfriend. “MLK tried to protest peacefully and they assassinated him. Colin Kaepernick tried to protest peacefully and they took away his career. They’ve left us no choice.”