Claremont protest well-attended, peaceful

by Kathryn Dunn |

Although nerves were rattled at first about the outcome, the resulting protest was a peaceful gathering, with hundreds of walkers making their way on foot from Vons to the police station.

Several businesses across the city closed early Wednesday due to a demonstration planned at 2 p.m. Organizers asked protestors to meet at Vons market on Base Line Road and to walk to the Claremont police station on Bonita Avenue.

The event was planned largely on social media, with the digital flyer being posted on sites like Instagram and the Claremont Connects page on Facebook.

Sgt. David DeMetz of the Claremont Police Department said Wednesday morning that the police were prepared.

“We have plans in place to ensure their safety and that their First Amendment rights are exercised,” he told the COURIER.

Police installed orange water-filled barricades in front of the station as a precaution.

Sgt. DeMetz confirmed that baseball bats were found at Foothill and Mountain earlier in the day, but he couldn’t confirm they were related to the Wednesday afternoon protest.

Demonstrations have been planned and executed nearly every day this week in Claremont. But as a precaution, Sgt. DeMetz said Claremont officers and detectives surveyed the area early Wednesday.

He urges residents not to try to take the law into their own hands, but to call the police for assistance.

“In the current climate, we understand people being concerned,” he said. “Our job is to ensure safety. That’s why we do what we do and plan the way we do.”

The rally in front of the police station Wednesday afternoon was peaceful, with organizers giving speeches and most poignantly, when protestors knelt in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds—the same time frame Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin forcibly held down George Floyd by his neck.

If a resident sees anything suspicious, Sgt. DeMetz says to call the police at (909) 399-5411. If it’s an emergency, or a resident is unsure, call 9-1-1.

A countywide curfew was in place most of week and continued Wednesday night from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Thursday, June 4.

As of Thursday afternoon, the county curfew had been lifted.


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