Protest over George Floyd killing held in Riverside

At least 50 protesters, standing 6 feet apart in a socially distanced chain, lined both sides of Tyler Street in Riverside Saturday, May 30, to call for justice after the killing of George Floyd.

They called for justice and a recognition that black lives matter after Floyd was killed in Minneapolis after a white officer pressed a knee into his neck while taking him into custody.

Porsha Harris, 27, of Riverside, was at the protest, which was loud but free of violence as of early afternoon.

“We want justice,” Harris said. “Police officers think they can get away with anything they want. The whole world needs to hear the message.”

Protesters appeared to be mostly in their 20s and include people who are black, white and Latino, with the vast majority wearing masks.

Protesters chanted “No justice, no peace” as cars roll by, many honking their horns. The protesters react with whoops and shouts.

Riverside police say they are aware of this protest. Typically, the department gives protesters their space but does monitor such rallies. There was no obvious police presence at the rally as of early afternoon.

Leilei Hawkins, 24, of Riverside, said she helped organize the rally.

“It’s clear that hate has no color or age,” Hawkins said. “And unless we address it in the most responsible way, as a society we won’t advance.”

Nationwide protests have followed the killing of George Floyd.

The now-former officer who was videotaped holding Floyd down, Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

As Floyd was being restrained, he choked out, “I can’t breathe,” and onlookers begged Chauvin to ease up.

Protester Rolland Hutto, 19, of San Bernardino, drew a sign that depicts George Floyd and Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin pressing a knee on Floyd’s neck and says “injustice – No more excuses – Inequity.”

“I hope that (passersby) take away that actions speak louder than words,” Hutto said. “(Authorities) won’t listen to us unless we stand out here. I hope people will get the message and stand up and do the right thing.”