SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Members of San Francisco’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are marching Christmas Eve morning and briefly shutdown Highway 101 at Octavia Street in a protest over recent police violence.
About 150 protesters started out at Market and Octavia streets at 8:30 a.m. and held a moment of silence lasting four minutes and 28 seconds on the freeway at Octavia Street.
“Today, we march, proclaiming our demands for police accountability, transparency, and an end to institutional racism,” Thea Matthews, an activist leader, said in a press release.
SF Queers 4 Black Lives, a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their supporters, were among the protesters.
Protester Ammi Keller said the demonstration was an effort to “keep the pressure on during the holidays” following weeks of protests in the Bay Area recently.
Traffic was backed up on the Central Freeway during the brief shutdown but protesters had cleared out about 9:10 a.m.
The group continued their slow march toward 18th and Castro streets.
Police opened Market Street to traffic at about 10 a.m.
The rallies followed the decision by grand juries not to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York.
The protest also occurs after violent protests broke out Tuesday night in suburban St. Louis following the shooting death of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer.
St. Louis police said the officer was questioning the 18-year-old and another man about a theft late Tuesday at a convenience store in Berkeley, Mo. when the young man pulled a 9mm handgun on him. The officer stumbled backward but fired three shots, one of which struck the victim, police said.
Berkeley is just a short distance from Ferguson, Mo.
MORE RELATED CONTENT:
- Former Facebook Employee: Company Has ‘A Black People Problem’
- San Jose St. Football Team, Cops Meet To Discuss Policing Issues In Minority Communities
- The Biggest Black Lives Matter Page On Facebook Is Fake
- Drawing from Life, East Bay Artist Depicts Black Men’s Truth
- Sacramento Protesters: ‘Cells Up, Don’t Shoot’
- Justin Bieber Expresses Support For Black Lives Matter