A northern California police chief joined a protest Tuesday against police brutality.
Chris Magnus, chief of Richmond police, held a sign that read “#BlackLivesMatter,” a Twitter hashtag used by civil rights advocates, as other officers joined in the peaceful protest, reported the Contra Costa Times.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, not in Richmond, not anywhere,” said resident Mary Square. “All these police, and the police chief, holding signs calling for an end to police violence.”
Magnus has been hailed for his approach to community policing, which has helped reduce the city’s crime rate and the use of force by police.
“I spoke with my command staff, and we agreed it would be nice to convey our commitment to peaceful protest and that black and brown lives do matter,” Magnus said. “And to help bridge the gap that we understand sometimes exists between police and community around certain issues.”
The protest, which was organized by members of the RYSE Youth Center, was relatively calm in comparison to demonstrations in nearby Berkeley and elsewhere.
The demonstrators were joined by Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and City Council members Jael Myrick, Jovanka Beckles and Tom Butt.
The police department’s deputy chief said officers understand the anger fueling the protests.
“We get the conversation about use of force, we get it,” said Deputy Chief Allwyn Brown. “This is an opportunity for all police departments, including ours, to look inward and examine our approaches and get better.”
Watch this video report posted online by KTVU-TV: