By RICHARD BASTIAN
Protesters marched through the streets of San Luis Obispo on Friday night, at times sitting in intersections and shouting “police get away with murder,” days after an officer was not charged with murder following the death of Breonna Taylor.
Approximately 170 protesters gathered at Mission Plaza to voice concerns, not only about black men, but also over woman of color who have fallen victim to unjustified killings by police. An officer shot and killed Breonna Taylor on March 13, while serving a no-knock warrant.
Protesters blocked the intersections in front of the same restaurants they generally target: Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant, Woodstock Pizza and Firestone Grill. While some locals were supporting restaurants targeted by protesters, other diners said they support the right to protest as long as they obey the law.
“It’s their right as Americans to protest as long as they’re following the law, that’s fine,” said Greg Libengood, who was having dinner at Woodstock Pizza. “But the moment they start causing trouble and infringing on our rights, that’s what I have an issue with.”
Several counter-protesters held signs and voiced disagreement with the organizers of Friday’s event. While they attempted to tell a reporter their reasons for supporting law enforcement, a group of BLM protesters surrounded them and tried to drown them out.
“This has been going on for several weeks, but I didn’t come down until June 21 when they began blocking traffic and becoming disruptive,” said Mike, a man concerned about giving his last name. “People want to come out and enjoy a meal on Friday evening and are given no choice but to sit outside, then have their evening disrupted with all the yelling by the protesters.”
Friday’s march was mostly peaceful, aside from blocking traffic and the shouting at diners that was encouraged by protest organizers with bullhorns. The organizers declined to comment.
After leaving the downtown area, the protesters marched to the San Luis Obispo Police Station where they shouted obscenities such as “f**k the police,” for approximately a half hour before dispersing.