Members of the People’s Revolutionary Party of Long Beach, the Democratic Socialists of America and other activist groups gathered at Harvey Milk Promenade Park on Saturday to protest the Long Beach Police Department over alleged acts of violence against citizens.
Recently, a video surfaced on social media showing police officers engaging with a civilian. The video shows an officer using their baton to hit a person’s legs in the street at the intersection of Fourth Street and Atlantic Avenue.
Emily Hubbard, organizer of the protest, said she was inspired to put together the event after seeing the video.
“We’re sick and tired of police violence in Long Beach,” Hubbard said. “They’re using more and more violent tactics.”
Before the march began, Kevin Joerger, member of the Democratic Socialists of America’s Long Beach chapter, spoke with police officers. A public information officer with the department came to an agreement with Joerger that as long as the protest remained peaceful and traffic was not blocked, they may continue. Bike officers rode alongside the group.
Protestors then marched from the park to city council candidate Cindy Allen’s office. Allen is a former LBPD officer who, demonstrators said, has no place in a leadership position such as a seat on the council.
They then stopped in front of the police department where several impassioned speeches were made.
Steven Estrada, member of the People’s Revolution Party of Long Beach, called for the condemnation of the police department.
“If it’s the police department’s job to terrorize us,” Estrada said, “then they’re doing a damn good job.”
Estrada then went on to encourage more political action amongst the community.
“We need to get involved and put the power back into the hands of the people,” Estrada said.