STOCKTON, Calif. — A collective of Stockton neighbors set the scene for a 3 p.m. "Black Lives Matter" youth rally at Stockton's Calvary First Church on Friday. It's an event they organized in about 24 hours.
"It's pretty much our time to step in and step up to the plate," Deejay Castle, a youth rally volunteer.
Castle says the grassroots event was born to provide young protesters a safe place after he and others felt another Stockton event scheduled for Friday used language that they found problematic.
Anonymous flyers circulated on social media for an "F*** the Police" march, in which organizers asked protesters to "please bring your anger and rage."
"When I read that, that's what I see... There's no peace in rage and anger," said Castle.
But Denise Friday disagrees. Denise, the mother of Colby Friday, a Stockton man who was shot and killed by Stockton police in 2016, said rage and anger do not equate to violent action.
The 3 p.m. march, in which Denise said she'll be attending, is set to start at the corner of March Lane and Pacific Avenue, the corner where Colby Friday was killed in a shooting the San Joaquin County District Attorney deemed justified.
"I can have rage and anger, but I'm not going to turn it into violence," Denise said.
For nearly two weeks, protests have sparked in Stockton and around the world following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. While there have been several tense moments between demonstrators and police officers, the demonstrations in Stockton were all peaceful with no reports of arrests in the area of the protests.
Demonstrators gather in Stockton to protest the death of George Floyd in Minnesota
After one of the city's protests in which several hundred people took the streets, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones commended demonstrators "getting their message out" peacefully.
That same night, several other cities were inundated with violent interactions with police and protesters, as well as looting and vandalism form others.
For Friday's protest in Stockton, Denise insisted that there will not be violence despite what many on social media have feared.
Denise said she'll be there to lead a balloon release and candle light vigil for her son and George Floyd. She said it's a misconception for people to label angry protesters as violent.
Meanwhile, youth rally organizers said they support Denise and other families impacted by police violence, but they also want to ensure there's no room for misinterpretation in their peaceful show of solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement.
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