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San Jose march to mayor's house demands justice for Demetrius Stanley

By David Almeida

San Jose, CA – On the evening of June 5, 250 protesters gathered at the San Jose City Hall for another vigil for Demetrius Stanley. Stanley was killed on the night of May 31, after attempting to defend his home from two plainclothes police officers, who never announced themselves as police to him.

Family and friends laid out flowers and candles, and the event began with the chants, “We will fight! We will win! We must love and protect each other! We have nothing to lose but our chains!” Kiana Simmons of HERO Tent announced they would march to Mayor Sam Liccardo's house to demand answers for the police killing of Stanley.

The San Jose Police Department (SJPD), aided by local media, is trying to justify the police killing of Stanley, saying he was armed and had a criminal record. The fact is that two plainclothes cops confronted Demetrius at home. The plainclothes cops arrived at night, unannounced. After killing Stanley, the SJPD served a search warrant, detained the family and ransacked their home.

On the march to Mayor Liccardo's house, the streets filled with shouts of “Demetrius Stanley!” 250 went down Santa Clara Street in San Jose singing, “No justice! No peace! Take it to the streets and fuck the police!”

However, as protesters approached 14th and Washington, they came across several lines of police officers, dressed in riot gear, blocking the path to the mayor's house. Members of the family and organizers made speeches there, confronting the police. Protesters eventually tried to march around the police from the other surrounding streets, but SJPD blocked them.

Leaders next marched away from the mayor's house and occupied San Pedro Square, a popular downtown destination. Protesters arrived there at about 11:30 p.m., lying down in an intersection with their fists up in solidarity. Then organizers marched back to Mayor Sam Liccardo's home.

Some demonstrators managed to get right outside the mayor's house, with several police in riot gear still guarding it. Eventually, police gave in to the will of the masses that night. They allowed Stanley’s family and other protesters to place candles and flowers on Mayor Liccardo's yard, to send him a message, to demand justice for Demetrius Stanley.

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