ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) — In a show of solidarity, Escondido Police Chief Ed Varso and Mayor Paul McNamara joined community members for a peaceful demonstration outside of City Hall Wednesday.
“I’m standing here on behalf of my department to make sure the community understands that we are all together in this,” said Varso at the event. “We all condemn what happened to Mr. Floyd it should have never of happened, it was wrong, and I’m glad they’re being held accountable for it.”
The organized demonstration included several speakers, including Yusef Miller of the Racial Justice Coalition San Diego, Rev. Meg Decker of Escondido Together, Police Chief Varso, Mayor McNamara, and other city officials.
A bell tolled nine times in remembrance of each minute of Floyd’s final moments. Varso and McNamara kneeled with community members.
“It shows this community is together,” said Escondido resident Janice Benoit. “We’re going to stand and make sure what happened doesn’t happen here. I’m a black woman, you know, experienced racism, and I want to speak out and let them know racism is real.”
The protest included people of different races, backgrounds, and ages, all with a similar message; there needs to be change.
Many wrote on sticky notes and posted them to the windows at city hall explaining what they will do to be a part of that change.