Torrance, CA–Things turned contentious at last nights City Council meeting in Torrance. Torrance community members clashed with Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and their supporters over the police shooting death of 23-year-old Christopher Deandre Mitchell.
Mitchell was shot and killed by police in a Ralph’s parking lot Dec 2018. Body cam footage shows police shoot Mitchell within 15-seconds of contact and point to what they refer to as an air rifle that was between Mitchell’s legs before police opened fire.
Black Lives Matter have attended almost, if not every, city council meeting since Mitchell’s death by Torrance Police Department. They are currently demanding the names of the officers and for them to be relieved of their duties as an officer.
After a contentious meeting last week, many community members who watched online, came out ready to antagonize Black Lives Matter and their supporters if they returned this week.
Wearing Make America Great Again hats with signs that read, “Trump 2020” , “We Love Ice” and “All Lives Matter” Torrance community members fired off racist rhetoric during public comment as well as from their seats in City Hall Chambers.
“I would like to thank you all and especially your law enforcement. What a great job they have shown in restraint for all these maniacs. If I was a cop, I’d be tasing, and pepper spraying . I wonder if they even have any parents, or where they raised by wolves. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. It’s totally embarrassing but thank you again officers,” a Torrance community member said during public comment.”
Mayor Struggles To Maintain Control of Chambers
Torrance Mayor Patrick J. Furey made it clear several times that disruption of the city council meeting would not be tolerated. An item on last night’s agenda were new regulations set in place as a result of last week’s city council meeting. The new regulations were meant to further restrain public input to avoid distractions during city council meetings.
A community member donning a red MAGA hat stood at the podium and demanding a motion be passed to reverse the cut down of public comment from three, to two minutes. His request received no response from the council.
During public comment, several white supporters of Black Lives Matter stood at the podium and called out the councils blatant preference of allowing white people to voice their discontent versus Black people.
“You are trying to be bully’s. You want to bully people into submission. You first allow your cops to kill a young man. Then, you besmirch his reputation and further humiliate and harm his mom and family. Shame on you. People need to know what happened when their loved one is killed by the police and all you are doing is concealing and hiding,” an older Caucasian woman said during public comment.
When the city council finally called a Black speaker to the podium, they were met with fiery resistance pertaining to their procedures and practices by a Black Lives Matter organizer. He condemned their updated polices and measures meant to further silence discontent over Mitchell’s murder.
“We have seen this before, many of us who have lived through this have seen this before. In the past, it was dogs and water hoses. Today, it is procedures like this. Whenever Black people stand up for justice, we are restrained and redirected. We will not be intimidated, we will not be fearful. We come to demand justice.”
Mayor Fuyer did not take too kindly to the mans message or tone of voice. Although the speaker had well over a minute, which was displayed on several large screens in green, Mayor Fuyer attempted to stop the man from speaking any further during public comment.
“You are out of order sir. This is your last warning,” Fuyer repeated firmly. You will leave. Now.”
After Mayor Fuyer announced that everyone was ejected from council chambers, over 15 police officers in full riot gear appeared seemingly out of no where. As BLM exited the chambers, they were berated by a small group of Trump Supporters.
“Black’s kill more Blacks than police, where is Black Lives Matter then?” the Trump supporters repeated.