This weekend, hundreds of people in San Antonio rallied to demand justice for George Floyd -- a black Minneapolis man who died after being forcibly restrained by a police officer -- and bring awareness to issues of police brutality and racial injustice in America.
The largely peaceful protest was marred by confrontations with heavily-armed local militia members claiming to protect the Alamo Cenotaph and a "massive" show of force by law enforcement officers in full riot gear.
Tensions escalated as the night went on, eventually devolving into chaos that provoked an aggressive police response. Windows were broken and stores looted. Officers threw tear gas and fired rubber bullets.
A viral video captured on May 25 of George Floyd in police custody shows then-policeman Derek Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a black man, for over eight minutes as he cries out for help, saying “I can’t breathe” as a crowd of people beg Chauvin to stop. Floyd was unresponsive when paramedics arrived and later pronounced dead.
Marches and rallies erupted across the U.S. in response to the death of Floyd and other black victims of violence in America, including in San Antonio and other Texas cities.
Clashes between protestors, counter-protestors and police have further exposed America’s fraught race relations, issues of systemic racism, police brutality and pervasive injustice for people of color.
- Dominic Anthony Walsh, reporter for Texas Public Radio
- Jolene Almendarez, Texas Public Radio freelance contributor
- Chief William McManus, San Antonio Police Department
- Mayor Ron Nirenberg, City of San Antonio
- Kimiya Factory, organizer of the #JusticeforFloyd Protest and co-founder of #ChangeRapeCulture
- Wolfgang, organizer of the #JusticeforFloyd Protest with the Autonomous Brown Berets of San Anto
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*This interview was recorded on Monday, June 1.
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