Despite huge fears coming from the community, the protests from yesterday– protesting the murdering of George Floyd by four officers, on video, in broad daylight– were entirely peaceful, with only two incidents of merit to make note of:
Neither one of these incidents was done by a protester.
The “Calls for Service” to the police indicated the same, with only 117 calls (May’s Wednesday average is 161 calls) and only 5 arrests (May’s Wednesday average is 4 arrests) (stats archived here)
The fear of people being “bused in” to cause violence permeated the community. In the end, the numbers simply didn’t match the fear. We had one more arrest than normal, and that’s not even outside the realm of normal (the record over the last 5 years for May Wednesday arrests is 13 people)– remember, you can always check these numbers yourself, at http://savenewport.com/crime
Now we can say that maybe they shouldn’t have marched in the streets. I would ask where else you put a march of 3,000 people that show up on Balboa Peninsula who want to be seen and heard? The boardwalk? Sidewalks? Duffies?
The fact is, our community was perfectly safe and perfectly fine, and despite a 4-hour traffic jam, all the fear and rhetoric that surrounded the protests proved to be– thankfully– unfounded. In fact, the people who caused the trouble seemed to be the people who did not participate in the protests, and they did that at the same rate as they normally do, when it comes to arrests. Removing those people from the arrest total would actually give us a lower average arrest than a normal Wednesday in May.
Now I’m not going to lie, I was a bit on-edge when I saw the number of people marching. But the harsh reality is that what I expected to happen never materialized (thankfully). I was wrong, and so were many of the people I know. And perhaps that goes to underscore the exact reason these protests are happening: There’s a word for when people pre-judge a situation (or prejudge a person), and while precautions are warranted for everything, “precautions” are not the statements that were being shouted across social media yesterday.
Hopefully, yesterday’s protests will help us all do better.
To close, here’s an old bit from Chris Rock:
“And you get what you pay for. Here’s the thing, man. Whenever the cops gun down an innocent man, they always say the same thing: ‘Well, it’s not most cops. It’s just a few bad apples. It’s just a few bad apples.'”
Rock continued: “Bad apple? That’s a lovely name for murderer. That almost sounds nice. I’ve had a bad apple. It was tart, but it didn’t choke me out. Here’s the thing. Here’s the thing. I know being a cop is hard. I know that shit’s dangerous. I know it is, okay? But some jobs can’t have bad apples.”
“Some jobs, everybody gotta be good. Like … pilots. Ya know, American Airlines can’t be like, ‘Most of our pilots like to land. We just got a few bad apples that like to crash into mountains. Please bear with us.'”
Bricks are not “planted”: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/investigating-bricks-at-protests
See the energy and live feeds from the situation from Behind The Badge, here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=264898298051990
Live Feeds from the time:
Photos of lockup biz by Chad Rutan: https://www.facebook.com/cachadley/posts/10157076129450740?__tn__=-R
MacArthur & PCH protest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t61IdA3feYo
Behind the Badge 3:11pm @10:34: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=264898298051990
Starting at 1:46pm @9.5m long by Chad Rutan https://www.facebook.com/cachadley/videos/10157076696545740/
Starting at 2:04pm @7m long by Chad Rutan https://www.facebook.com/cachadley/videos/10157076742465740/
Starting at 2:28pm @ 22m long by Chad Rutan https://www.facebook.com/cachadley/videos/10157076799145740/
Starting at 2:46pm @3:33pm by Councilman Kevin Muldoon https://www.facebook.com/KevinMMuldoon/videos/10101631516724559/
Starting at 2:55pm @5:51pm by Councilman Kevin Muldoon https://www.facebook.com/KevinMMuldoon/videos/10101631524548879/