San Diego police report no arrests in day of peaceful protests

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Police Department said they did not arrest any demonstrators in protests held around the city Wednesday.

“We were at several locations throughout the day and all of the groups remained peaceful,” the department wrote on Twitter. “Let’s continue working together, San Diego!”

Police also shared a video captured by San Diego Union-Tribune photographer K.C. Alfred, showing SDPD Capt. Manny Del Toro and other officers bowing their heads in prayer with a group of protesters. After the solemn moment, the small crowd chanted “S-D-P-D.”

“Respect,” the department wrote.

The protests began across the nation last week in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, shown on video struggling to breathe as an arresting officer knelt on his neck.

In La Mesa, the controversial arrest of a young black man near the Grossmont Transit Center also angered activists. Officials released more body camera video from that incident Wednesday.

Though destruction and looting have followed some local demonstrations, especially last weekend, protests across the county have widely remained peaceful. San Diego officials and Gov. Gavin Newsom have at times attributed violence to smaller groups of people who are “exploiting” and distracting from the protest movement about racial injustice and police reform.

In Oceanside Wednesday, police confirmed they also did not arrest any demonstrators as they supervised a march near the pier. Video showed officers detaining six people nearby, but police later clarified they were unrelated to the event.

The relative calm of recent protests comes as San Diego County receives 200 National Guard troops, to be stationed in La Mesa and others parts of the region. Sheriff Bill Gore said their presence will help protect infrastructure in the case of civil unrest.

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