This story has been updated and will continue to be throughout the day.
Demonstrations in Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Orange, Tustin and Mission Viejo brought Orange County protests against police violence into the sixth day on Thursday.
Around 500 people marched along Newport Blvd in Costa Mesa, while police looked on.
Another protest at the Outlets in Orange drew a smaller crowd size of about 150 people, with nearby storefronts boarded up. A previously scheduled protest at the Orange Circle had been canceled earlier in the day.
Protests in all the cities remained peaceful Thursday.
At least a dozen protests, die-ins and vigils have sprung up in more than 10 cities across the county over the past week, in response to the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd and police violence toward Black people in the U.S.
Fountain Valley is one of three Little Saigon cities seeing demonstrations. On Wednesday, police estimated at least 3,000 peaceful protesters in Garden Grove, and a protest is planned for Westminster at noon Friday in Sigler park.
The string of protests is challenging local officials to rethink police accountability and law enforcement’s role in politics and systemic public safety issues, right on time for budget season — where cities spend more on cops over other areas like youth programs, parks and libraries.
Local county activists are increasingly calling for more police accountability in the form of official civilian oversight panels.
Anaheim was the first OC city to put such a commission in place, while others like Fullerton and Santa Ana have in the past dismissed the idea.
While top county officials like Sheriff Don Barnes, Supervisor Andrew Do, and city council members across the county have denounced Floyd’s killing, there are mounting questions for local officials over how far they will now go to prove solidarity on the issue as well as pursuing greater accountability for their local law enforcement agencies.
On top of oversight, activists are calling for funding across local city budgets to be rerouted from police departments to youth programs, parks and libraries — aspects of public safety that community leaders say in the long run will reduce crime and systemic safety issues in underserved areas.
On Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti — facing outcry over a proposed budget that forked a majority of city spending to the Los Angeles Police Department — announced a major retooling of the budget, moving $250 million away from other departments, including police, toward health and education in the Black community and communities of color.
Below is a list of all upcoming protests.
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