DAVIS, Calif. — On the streets of Davis, a group of 300 or so marchers chanted "Black Lives Matter" and "No justice, no peace," a familiar anthem stretching across the country.
Leading the march was 26-year-old UC Davis political science graduate Dillan Horton.
“Despite so many of these things being recorded and right in front of our eyes for years now, I think so many people are waking up to the fact that there are some really deep problems in our criminal justice system that need to be addressed," said Horton.
Horton is running for public office for the Davis City Council. It's his first time doing so.
The rally he helped organize happened at Central Park and featured families who told personal stories of abuse and death at the hands of police officers.
Horton says he grew up in LA and was surrounded by mostly black friends and teachers, but, he says, when he moved to Davis to go to school, he experienced racial profiling first hand.
“I’ve been followed in stores here in Davis. I’ve been pulled over for reasons that seem [like] the most suspicious thing I was doing was driving down the street," Horton said.
Part of his platform for running for Davis City Council is the controversial idea of defunding the police department.
“And, I am here to say don’t be afraid of that. We’re talking about reinvesting in community programs and services that we’ve divested from for years, if not decades - all of my life probably," Horton said.
As the chair of the City of Davis Police Accountability Commission, Horton led the peaceful marchers a mile and half directly in front the police department. It was there the crowd let the department know their demands.
Bottom line, when it comes to change he says he is cautiously optimistic.
“This group of people out here - I would not really [have] imagined and that gives me some optimism about where we’re headed, at least in Davis in our future.”
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