For the third week in row, multiracial protests against police violence have continued across the United States in large cities as well as rural communities. Initially triggered by the release of a cellphone video depicting the brutal murder of George Floyd on May 25, demonstrations against police violence have taken on an international character, with thousands continuing to march in London and Paris over the weekend.
On Sunday hundreds of protesters in Washington, D.C. briefly shut down a highway that led to the US capital. In Columbus, Ohio, at the behest of Democratic party Mayor Andrew Ginther, Columbus police were given the green light Sunday afternoon to assault and teargas peaceful protesters.
In a video posted by NBC journalist Eric Halperin, Columbus police are shown ramming protesters with their bicycles and pepper spraying them. Ginther justified the brutality on Twitter writing that in order to “keep the streets open” and “protect residents from lawlessness ... increased enforcement today has been necessary.”
In New York City over 10,000 cyclists took over Manhattan streets Saturday afternoon, riding a 20-mile loop from Times Square to Harlem and down a car-free West Side Highway to Battery Park, chanting the names of George Floyd and 26 year-old Louisville EMT Breonna Taylor, murdered in her sleep by police during an early morning no-knock raid on March 13, 2020.
Meanwhile, at a half-full arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Saturday night, President Donald Trump briefly railed against the protesters outside the venue branding them “very bad people” and “thugs.” In response to Trump’s characterization of the protesters Tulsa police were forced to admit that while there were “thousands” of people protesting outside the arena, “Overwhelmingly these encounters have been peaceful with everyone attempting to share their views.”
Over the weekend, two shootings, one in Minneapolis, the other in Seattle, have been hyped by the bourgeois press to paint the movement against police violence as more dangerous and violent than the police themselves.
In Minneapolis, one person is dead and eleven more were injured following an early Sunday morning shooting on the 2900 block of Hennepin Avenue South. Police have yet to release a description of the alleged shooters and no one has been arrested at this time.
Fred Hwang, a manager at Hoban Korean BBQ, who was working the front door when he heard the shots ring out at roughly 12:25 a.m., saw two groups of people firing at each other. Hwang helped usher people into the restaurant to avoid the gunfire as they waited for over 30 minutes for police to arrive.
In Seattle a 19-year-old man is dead and another critically injured after an argument escalated Saturday morning shooting in the area of downtown known as CHAZ for “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.” Police have stated that they were unable to assist after being, “met by a violent crowd that prevented officers safe access to the victims.” Video evidence filmed by protesters shows that police were allowed to enter the zone after the shooting and state investigators were in the zone gathering shell casings Saturday morning.
In Los Angeles, a rally for the recently murdered Andres Guardado exceeded expectations with thousands participating Sunday afternoon. The march began at 1 p.m. with roughly 100 people, but by the time the march reached the front of the Los Angeles County Compton Sheriff's (LASD) office, which was surrounded by riot police, the crowd had swelled into the thousands.
It has been over 72 hours since police gunned down the 18-year-old Guardado, who was working as a security guard at the Freeway auto body shop located on the 400 block of Redondo Beach Blvd. According to Captain Kent Wegener of the LASD, deputies were “observing Guardado,” who allegedly spotted the deputies looking at him. Upon seeing the police, Guardado supposedly “produced a gun” before running away from the police. Wegener stated that after a short foot-pursuit an as-yet unnamed deputy “fired six shots” into Guardado, killing him. No deputies were injured.
Police have stated they recovered a gun at the scene that had an illegal large capacity magazine and was devoid of any serial numbers of identifying marks. No video footage or pictures have been produced to corroborate the police allegations. The police have yet to state why they were “observing” Guardado to begin with, as there had been no calls placed for police assistance at that address.
Andrew Henney, the owner of the body shop, described Guardado as “a good friend” and disputed the police retelling of events. In a video interview with Memo Torres of LA Taco, Henney states that Guardado, “was standing near the curb ... talking to two girls and then the police approached him and right away drew their guns, pointing them at him, and he got scared and he ran.”
Gesturing down the alley, Henney states he saw Guardado, “on his knees with his hands behind his head, that’s when the cops shot him.” In a separate interview with CBS KCAL Henney noted that Guardado had “a clean background and everything. There’s no reason."
Henney also questioned police reports that Guardado was armed, “I don’t think so, I never knew him to be armed, he wasn’t a gang member, he had never been so much as arrested, he was the coolest kid.”
Notably, which has gone unreported in mainstream versions of the events, Henney states that investigators Thursday night locked down his store and proceeded to break and confiscate several security cameras Henney had installed at the shop. Police also took his DVR, all before obtaining a warrant, which Henney noted police produced several hours later.
Guardado’s cousin, Celina Avarca, in an interview with CBS, also disputed police accounts of Guardado being armed:“I’d never heard or seen him have any kind of weapons,” Avarca said. “He never talked about them.” Avarca also said her cousin was working two jobs and was in the process of applying to school to become a nurse
Jennifer Guardado, the slain man’s older sister, also speaking to CBS, noted the bright future the family saw for Andres, “He was gonna make it in life. He was gonna make it and become a good, professional man in life, but they took that away from my family and me.
“My parents are completely destroyed. We’re all dead already inside.”
“I lost a part of me, it’s empty, and I’m never gonna have him back,” his sister added. “I’m never gonna see him, he’s never gonna talk to me, I’m just, I can’t, I just can’t believe this happened to my brother. It really hurts me.”
In an interview with author Julissa Natzely Arce Raya, Guardado’s father, Cristobal, who works in the restaurant industry, noted that his son recently started the job to help his father pay for the bills: “He told me he wanted to help me. But this didn’t help me. He just came to meet his death.”
“He had just graduated high school. He didn’t deserve this. El era un buen hijo.” (He was a good son.)
Guardado was the second man shot to death by LA County sheriffs in a 48-hour period. Terron Jammal Boone, half-brother to Robert Fuller, who was found dead hanging from a tree last week in Southern California, was shot multiple times by deputies after an alleged traffic stop turned violent last Wednesday.
As was the case with Guardado, none of the detectives, deputies, or police cruisers were equipped with cameras.