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IN PHOTOS: “Happy Birthday, Breonna Taylor”

Black Lives Matter Long Beach led several thousands of protestors in a march throughout the city of Long Beach, calling for the defunding of the Long Beach Police Department and an end to police brutality.

BLMLB leaders laid out their demands of the city of Long Beach, Mayor Robert Garcia and the state of California. Those demands included the defunding of the police department and reinvesting that money back into the community.

In 2020, the police department received 48% of the city’s total $554 million general fund, or approximately $44 million.

Despite a heavy police presence promised earlier in the day, few Long Beach Police Department officers were seen except for motorcycle officers who were directing traffic as protestors took to the streets.

Several members of the National Guard were stationed along the route but did not engage with demonstrators.

Protestors then stopped in front of what they believed to be the apartment home of Mayor Robert Garcia, where massive crowds chanted using megaphones. Here, participants called him out for an alleged lack of transparency when it comes to police funding, investigation and operations.

BLMLB maintained organization over the group and the crowd did not splinter. Demonstrations had been going on all day throughout Long Beach, and many participants from earlier marches joined this one.

According to a Tweet from Garcia, the city of Long Beach has seen 13 protests in the last 7 days. The group beginning at Harvey Milk Promenade Park grew to encompass thousands of protestors marching throughout downtown Long Beach.

There were several instigators who infiltrated the demonstration and made attempts to challenge the BLMLB leader’s message, but tensions were calmed with chants of “keep the peace.”

The protest ended on the steps of the Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse, where BLM members allowed victims of police brutality speak about their personal experiences and shared a blessing of the children, who they say are the future of the movement.

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