SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Businesses and community activists around Sacramento are making preparations for potential protests in the wake of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial over the death of George Floyd.
Capital Books owner Ross Rojek told FOX40 Monday that when demonstrations were occurring outside of his K Street business last year, he made sure to humanize his store.
“Talked to people as they were walking past, was the personality. You know, it’s harder for you to break something if the guy is standing there talking to you,” explained Rojek.
Now with the potential for more demonstrations, Rojek says he has no plans to board up his windows, adding some demonstrators in the past have been customers.
“They tell me they check at the start of a protest to make sure everything is OK, they check at the end of the night,” he said. “They check in the mornings. So if something goes weird, I think somebody in that crowd is going to know us and stop it.”
“For everybody, as we go on the streets, let’s be safe, let’s be strategic, but let’s not pay attention to those who are trying to denounce your rage and your frustration,” said community activist Berry Accius.
Accius said he hopes people will remember and understand why the demonstrations are occurring.
“And if property is being destroyed, so be it. A life was lost and to be honest with you, you have insurance for property and we still have killer cops that continue to police our communities, so there is a lot of detail we have to go into to change,” Accius told FOX40.
This past weekend Sacramento police said four officers were sent to the hospital after being affected by a still-unknown substance during demonstrations.
According to officials, those officers have all left the hospital.
As for expectations of more people taking to the streets when the Floyd verdict comes down, Sacramento police released the following statement:
Currently, there is no specific information regarding any demonstrations in Sacramento due to events in Minnesota. At this point we will not be disclosing specific details regarding preparations, however the Sacramento Police Department will be ready to dedicate personnel to monitor any demonstrations that may occur. We remain committed to facilitating first amendment rights for demonstrators, while also providing for the safety of our community and officers. We encourage our community to follow our Twitter feed for important updates regarding active demonstrations that occur.Ofc. Ryan Woo, Sacramento Police Department
The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services also released a statement regarding potential protests:
We are actively monitoring the situation and are prepared to respond as necessary to provide adequate personnel and resources to protect the safety and wellbeing of protestors and local communities alike. Deploying the National Guard in a law enforcement capacity is typically only used as a last resort or after the Mutual Aid System is fully committed.Brian Ferguson, Deputy Director for Crisis Communication & Public Affairs Cal OES