“Say his name”: Mountain View protesters march for justice


Kylie Akiyama

Protesters march on El Camino Real towards the intersection at San Antonio. Yesterday, protesters took to the streets of Mountain View and expressed outrage over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Protesters crowded the streets of Mountain View in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement at 5 p.m. yesterday. Bearing signs and calling chants, protesters expressed outrage over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. 

Amid flaring national tensions and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, protesters called for reform of the legal system and justice for victims of police brutality. A line of protestors spanning multiple blocks marched from the intersection of San Antonio and El Camino Real to the Mountain View City Hall.

“There’s a lot of injustice going on in the world and police brutality is a major part of it,” Los Altos alumnus Tariq Bright said. “So I came out to show my support with the rest of the world that’s supporting black lives.”

Protesters demanded for increased police accountability and an end to racial profiling by police officers. 

“I think police should be held accountable for their actions,” Mountain View resident Kyahana Robinson said. “It’s a systematic problem and [Floyd’s death] was based on racism and a superiority complex created by society.”

According to Police Chief Max Bosel, who was on duty at the protest, the Mountain View Police Department has had an open dialogue with the community about many of the same issues brought up by protesters yesterday.

“We need to always look at doing more to get better,” he said. “The actions in Minneapolis are not consistent with the values or policies or practices with the police departments here in the county, certainly not in Mountain View.”

Bosel also addressed the trending hashtag “ACAB” (all cops are bastards). 

“I think it’s unfortunate,” he said. “Police officers are individuals from all fabrics of life from all backgrounds, [but are] painted with a broad brush and with hate and with threats of violence in some cases. I think this is a time we need to get together and talk and improve.”

A moderate police presence followed the march, primarily directing traffic away from the protesters. 

While the organizers’ fliers called for social distancing, some protesters were still concerned about the density of the march. The vast majority of participants heeded the organizers’ request and wore masks. 

“I was definitely nervous [about the coronavirus],” Mountain View resident Amelia Annen said. I have parents over 50, so I don’t want to get them sick. I’m wearing a mask, I’m gonna wash my hands. I mean, they keep saying there’s two pandemics: racism and coronavirus. You have to fight both.”

Others were less concerned about the pandemic—a handful of protesters said that they didn’t think about the coronavirus before attending the march. 

“We’re all wearing masks and it’s not actually that bad here,” Mountain View resident Kai Chen said. 

One of the organizers of the protest, Los Altos senior Elena Mujica, originally planned for the protest to remain at the intersection, where social distancing would have been possible. However, when the protesters spontaneously started marching down El Camino, expectations changed. 

“Because of the march, there was not the social distancing that we expected,” she said. “I was pretty content, though, because everybody I saw had their mask on. So, I wish we would have been able to protest in a more socially-distanced way, but I do think the cause was so valid that it would be terrible to call it off because of that.”