A loud protest and march in Santa Ana that at one point drew more than 300 demonstrators ended peacefully Saturday night, more than about an hour after curfew.
Most of the demonstrators left by 10 p.m., which city officials set as the day’s curfew in anticipation of the protest.
The few young people who stayed after 11 p.m. threw fireworks into the intersection of 17th and Bristol streets, until they were chased off by police.
“It was a peaceful protest,” said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. “There were no arrests and no damage.”
The demonstrators first gathered at the busy intersection at the edge of Santa Ana College at 8 p.m. to protest the death of George Floyd.
Chanting “black lives matter” as they marched through Santa Ana streets, the protesters demanded justice for Floyd, who was killed at the hands of police in Minneapolis last month.
The crowd headed to the police department at Civic Center Plaza but a barricade diverted them to Flower Street. Reaching the barricade, protesters took a knee, raised their arms up in the air and chanted: “Hands up. Don’t shoot.”
Protesters spilled onto the street, chanting anti-racism slogans but some also screamed obscenities at the police and President Donald Trump. At one point, they stopped in front of the Police Officers Association building to criticize the group’s role in police-related shootings. Castillo said the police union was to blame for officers not being adequately punished in officer-involved incidents.
Donna Acevedo, whose 21-year-old son Joel Acevedo was shot and killed by Anaheim police in 2012, joined the crowd confronting lines of officers throughout the march.
“You guys kill people. Look at my son,” she said to a line of officers at the barricade by the Civic Center Plaza. (In 2013, the Orange County District Attorney said that the officer who shot Acevedo was acting in self-defense.)
Along the route, police in riot gear stood along different intersections to monitor the crowd, which moved through the Washington Square neighborhood shortly before 10 p.m.
In anticipation of the protest, many businesses around the intersection of 17th and Bristol streets boarded up their storefronts and there was a heavy police presence, with some officers dressed in riot gear and one armored vehicle stationed in a vacant parking lot across the street.
A growing number of such protests are taking place across the country and across the world. Some of the protesters appear to be participating in different rallies.