Sunday, July 17, 2016

Black Lives Matter, Brown Lives Matter: Police Brutality Protest in San José

One person was arrested during a march to protest police brutality on July 10 in San José. In solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the protest was organized in response to the police killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, and Philando Castile in Minnesota, as well as the local killing of Latino youth Anthony Nuñez. Nuñez was killed at his home by officers with the San José Police Department on July 4.

A speaker at the protest displays a sign that reads: "Black Lives Matter. Black and Brown. We Stand United"

After first gathering at San José City Hall for a rally, with many individuals speaking out and sharing their personal stories of police brutality, community members set out for a march down East Santa Clara Street. A number of San José police officers arrived fairly quickly and exited their vehicles. After changing into riot gear, they jogged ahead of the march to join another group of officers in blocking the street. During a short face-off with the marchers, who wanted to move forward, police identified a person in the middle of the crowd for arrest. After strongly protesting the takedown, which involved several police officers piling on top of the person they targeted, the marchers reversed direction and headed back. They then staged a die-in at city hall, followed by another speak-out.

A cousin of Anthony Nuñez stated that a family member who was at home with Anthony when he was killed believes the 18-year-old was unarmed when police shot him. The police have told a different story, saying were called to the home after Anthony shot himself, which resulted in a light grazing wound. The police claim that Anthony was still in possession of the gun when they arrived, and that he pointed it at them, which prompted them to "defend themselves." Anthony's family members are questioning the police account of the killing, and beyond being devastated by their loss, they want answers.

Anthony Nuñez's cousin speaks

A police helicopter followed the march

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