LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens led a group of protesters through Inglewood today in support of Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback whose on-field national anthem protests against police brutality and racial inequality sparked a national debate.
Owens and several dozen other protesters walked through Inglewood, pausing briefly outside SoFi Stadium in remembrance of a construction worker who recently fell to his death while working on the project.
The group later took a knee for eight minutes and 46 seconds, theamount of time a Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin George Floyd to the ground late last month, killing Floyd and sparking weeks of worldwide protests against brutality.
At the start of the march, Owens told the crowd that NFL Commission Roger Goodell owes an apology to Kaepernick, who hasn't played in the league since 2016.
“Roger Goodell, in holding Colin Kaepernick now for four years, we gonna get what he deserves, we gonna get him what he deserves, and that's an apology.''
As the group made its way past The Forum, protesters chanted the name George Floyd.
Other protests were held or were planned at various locations across the Southland in memory of Floyd and in opposition to police brutality. A small group gathered this morning at Santa Monica City Hall, with other demonstrations planned in locations including Silver Lake, Altadena, Buena Park and Huntington Beach.
Protests in honor of Floyd have been held daily for more than a week, including a massive gathering Sunday in Hollywood that attracted an estimated 50,000 people.
On Wednesday, thousands of people gathered outside the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles to call for the removal from office of Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
Protesters claim Lacey, who is black, has not prosecuted enough police officers accused of misconduct.
Lacey has repeatedly denied the allegation.
Black Lives Matter will hold a virtual town hall meeting Thursday night about defunding the police. The event will be streamed live on the group's Facebook page beginning at 7 p.m.
“We'll have an in-depth conversation on what it means to defund the police and the road to police abolition,'' according to a post on the Black Lives Matter page.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday night he does not support Black Lives Matter-LA's proposal to cut the Los Angeles Police Department's $1.8 billion operating budget by 90%.
The People's Budget proposal for the 2020-21 fiscal year calls for shifting money that had been intended for the LAPD to provide more funding for housing, health care and mental health services. Health care and mental health services are customarily functions of county government.
“I've met with some representatives of Black Lives Matter. I've been in forums with folks who I'm sure have supported that (the People's Budget), but you know, the budget that we put forward in the city of Los Angeles is a detailed budget, not so much an aspirational budget,'' Garcetti said, although he said he appreciated the suggestions from people about the police spending.
Melina Abdullah, a co-founder of BLM-LA, told City News Service she wasn't surprised Garcetti wouldn't support the People's Budget, as Garcetti hasn't cut enough from the LAPD budget, even in his latest proposal.
Abdullah said Garcetti's proposal to cut up to $150 million from the LAPD budget is politically motivated, as he made the announcement only after thousands of people showed up at his residence and at City Hall.
“The only thing he responds to is political calculations,'' Abdullah said. “We have to make clear that his political ambition will not be reached if he doesn't represent the people he claims to represent.''
Garcetti supports shifting money previously allocated to the LAPD and other departments to spend an additional $250 million in predominantly black communities to address health and education issues, but has not provided specific details.
Photos: Getty Images