Dionne+Smith-Downs%2C+right%2C+of+Stockton+sits+and+raises+her+arms+during+a+Defund+the+Lodi+PD+rally+in+Lodi%2C+California%2C+Saturday%2C+Sept.+5%2C+2020.+Her+16-year-old+son+James+Rivera+was+shot+and+killed+by+a+Stockton+PD+officer.+

Sara Nevis

Dionne Smith-Downs, right, of Stockton sits and raises her arms during a Defund the Lodi PD rally in Lodi, California, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. Her 16-year-old son James Rivera was shot and killed by a Stockton PD officer.

PHOTOS: Demonstrations against racial injustice advance through greater Sacramento area

September 8, 2020

Over the weekend, the greater Sacramento area experienced an array of activism, including demonstrations from supporters of Black Lives Matter Sacramento and counter-protesters. Activists expressed the need to end racial injustice, while the opposition protested otherwise, as both attempted to find common ground. Families and friends mourned a victim of police brutality and the youth lit up the heart of Downtown Sacramento for peace, justice and tranquility.

These are their stories.

Lodi, CA

American Legion, in Lodi, was the location of a Defund the Lodi Police protest Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. The protest was set to occur at 10 a.m. and an hour prior the park was already filled with counter protesters. The counter-protestors wore Trump shirts and hats and held signs with phrases such as "Racism Sucks" and "BLM is a Total Fake."

Roseville, CA

More than 100 protesters gathered at the intersection of Junction Boulevard and Foothills Boulevard in support of Black Lives Matter. Three counter-protesters gathered on the opposite side of the road but left after about half an hour. The protest was organized by the Black Student Union at Woodcreek High School, as well as Black Lives Matter Sacramento who helped get the word out.

Elk Grove, CA

On Sunday, family and friends gathered at 7 p.m. at Shasta Community Park in Elk Grove for the second anniversary of the death of Darell Richards. A SWAT team shot and killed 19-year-old Richards in a backyard in Curtis Park Sept. 6, 2018.

Sacramento, CA

Sunday at 8 p.m., a group of protesters gathered at Cesar Chavez Plaza in Sacramento for the Radical Joy–We Still Out Here block party. The block party was meant to reenergize the community, according to Liv Styler, an organizer with Defund the Police Sacramento.

Reporting and photography by SARA NEVIS, IAN RATLIFF
Photo Curation by RAHUL LAL

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