CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Several Chula Vista community leaders joined a congregation from Victory Outreach Church of San Ysidro on Saturday to pray for peace and healing amid a period of national unrest following the police killing of George Floyd.
In Chula Vista’s Memorial Park, the city’s mayor, Mary Casillas Salas, called for community members to play a larger role in fighting injustices. Her remarks came on a day where thousands of San Diego County residents did just that with various demonstrations taking place Saturday in downtown San Diego, Carlsbad and Vista, among others.
“Peace is healing and healing is what we need now,” Salas said.
The mayor was joined by Chula Vista Police Chief Roxanne Kennedy, who fought back tears as she said her officers were “horrified” by the video of Floyd’s death on Memorial Day.
Kennedy noted that it is uncommon for law enforcement officials to speak out on the actions of other police departments during ongoing investigations, but that this is “the one time in my life I’ve seen chiefs across the nation speak out and say, ‘This can’t happen.'”
“It has been a really, really trying time for all of us,” she said. “But what we want you to know really right now: This is all about healing. We hear you. There’s a sign up in front of our police department — we hear you.”
Kennedy encouraged congregants to observe the officers in attendance, saying, “They came because they wanted to.”
“Now is a time to heal and through God, he will help us through this challenge,” she said.