Vacaville MLK celebration pushes for togetherness after vandalism at police department, city hall

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VACAVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) – Community members in Vacaville gathered to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. one day after a separate demonstration vandalized the local police station and city hall.

“Instead of what would have been a normal march from downtown Andrews Park to the city hall campus was a group of around 40 people all dressed in black,” said Vacaville Police Chief John Carli.

A crowd wearing riot gear and shields waged what Carli is calling a strategic attack against the police department and city hall.

“It is obvious that what occurred yesterday amounted to somewhere the estimates would be $30,000 or more,” Carli told FOX40.

On Monday, a different tone was set at Andrews Park, one of togetherness.

“We don’t want the last thing people to remember in the news about Vacaville is what happened last night,” said local music teacher and business owner, Leslie Silver.

Silver said there have been several protests in Vacaville recently putting many people on edge, but Sunday night’s demonstration reached a whole new level.

“The way things were done last night and the destruction they did is not going to get us to a place we want to be in and whoever is responsible for it, it’s not the look we want to see in Vacaville,” Silver said. 

In light of unrest locally and at our nation’s Capitol, event organizer Aisha Gutierrez said this day was meant to bring men, women and children of all nationalities together to remember the values of peace and love Dr. King pushed for.

“This is the time I felt that we need to give a different image of gatherings, this isn’t a protest, this isn’t a rally but it’s a celebration of love to honor Dr. Martin Luther King,” Gutierrez explained. “Violence, none of that should ever be accepted, never be tolerated. The images we saw of the destruction last night were horrible and I just hope that this is giving the community that different image of positivity and peace and love.”

Carli said no arrests have been made, and the department will need the community’s help tracking down those responsible.

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