Following Thursday night’s highway shutdown in Oakland during a police protest and the shootout that killed 5 police officers in Dallas at a Black Lives Matter march, a rally and march is planned tonight in San Francisco in reaction to the killing of two black men earlier this week by cops in Minnesota and Louisiana.
The San Francisco protest was announced before the incident in Dallas, according to the time stamps on posts at ANSWER Coalition and Occupy Oakland. Organizers are urging people to gather in Justin Herman Plaza across from the Ferry Building at 6 p.m. to “demand justice for all the victims of police brutality and end to racist police terror.” However, in light of the Dallas shootings, the rally is bound to take on a different tone and could have a larger police presence.
Many protests nationwide, such as the one in Oakland, were held Thursday in response to the police shooting deaths of Philando Castile on Wednesday in Minnesota and Alton Sterling on Tuesday in Louisiana. Castile was killed during a traffic stop while he sat in a car with his girlfriend and her daughter — and the aftermath was live streamed by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds. Sterling was lying on his back pinned down by two officers when he was fatally shot outside a convenience store.
Police around the country are on heightened alert following the Dallas sniper attack. In Oakland and San Jose, officers have been ordered to pair up on patrols to increase safety.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee on Friday issued a statement addressing the recent spate of violence nationwide, saying local police “showed this week that reforms can take hold and the sanctity of life can be upheld.” He was referring to the Wednesday standoff in the Tenderloin in which officers were able to peacefully end the confrontation with an armed man when they used beanbag rounds to subdue him.