Amid a pandemic and ongoing protests, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon has called for the city of SLO to set aside $100,000 to fund the promotion of social and racial equality. [KCOY]
Harmon said she would request that city council members approve the funding and that the money should be used toward meaningful efforts to create a city in which tear gas will never be used again.
“In my position of leadership, and in my privilege as a white ally, I will be advocating for funding to go directly towards policy and efforts to better serve our communities of color and create more equity here in San Luis Obispo,” Harmon said.
San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell also addressed this week’s protests, though she defended her officers’ use of tear gas.
Cantrell said it is incredibly dangerous for protesters to march onto a highway with vehicles traveling 70 or 80 mph. Cantrell said it creates danger for the protesters, as well as for drivers and law enforcement.
On the standoff that ensued, Cantrell said a police captain spoke with the leader of the protest. After authorities declared the protest an unlawful assembly, some protesters tried to push through the police line.
Police responded by firing pepper spray balls into the ground. Then, some protesters turned violent and bottles, rocks and fireworks were thrown at officers. So, officers fired tear gas, Cantrell said.
SLO City Manager Derek Johnson said he was considering whether or not to impose a curfew, as authorities have done in many jurisdictions across the country.