'Am I going to be next?': Protesters in Downtown San Jose push for change

Amanda del Castillo Image
Thursday, June 4, 2020
Protesters in Downtown SJ push for change, daily
After several days of protesting, hundreds returned to Downtown San Jose on Wednesday. Another day of determination.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- After several days of protesting, hundreds returned to Downtown San Jose on Wednesday. Another day of determination.

Hot temperatures didn't stop people from making sure their message was heard. I wanted to learn whether people truly felt that was the case.

With the City of San Jose voting Tuesday to lift it's curfew on Thursday morning, and after three other officers were charged in the death of George Floyd- I wanted to know, are protesters feeling like their efforts are working?

RELATED: Get the latest updates on George Floyd protests in the Bay Area

On Wednesday, I found there was no clear answer to that question.

Speaking with protesters, it was clear there is still plenty of pain, fear and frustration.

So for this story, I tried something new. I removed my own voice from the broadcast, to make way for the people behind the peaceful protest.

"This new generation is going to set America up for great future than it's ever had," Pastor Jethroe Moore II told me. "That's why I have faith with those kids, and that's why I protect them so much."

Pastor Moore is the president of the San Jose-Silicon Valley NAACP.

On Wednesday afternoon, I visited with a teen named Duke. He told me, "I'm 15 years old, I shouldn't be worrying about my life, whenever I walk my dog. I shouldn't be worrying about my life whenever I go to school."

WATCH LIVE: George Floyd protests, briefings planned in San Francisco Bay Area

Another protester stopped to say, "We have family members. We have black family members. We have black friends. I have black co-workers. This matters to me. This is important to me, and I don't want to- in 20 years- I don't want to look back and not be able to say I was here standing up for people."

"I just want them to be okay," a woman named Afia said about her two sons. "They're only 14 and 15. They didn't grow up knowing that it's either black or white. They grew up knowing that we're all equal. So, when these things are happening, it messes them up."

Her son Dylan telling me, "I want to feel like we all have equal. We're all equal."

These protesters, these families joined many others as they marched across Downtown San Jose.

"This new generation is going to be powerful," Pastor Moore assured.

"We are not their cattle," an anonymous protester said, referring to police. "They work for us, to protect us. But who's going to protect us from them?"

RELATED: Here's which Bay Area cities are under curfew and what it means

Another made it a point to tell me, "Today would be day 4 for me. I've been out here every day since Sunday."

For many, their signs said it all. They continue to push for an end to police brutality.

"I personally feel that the police have just been meeting our protests with the very brutality that we're protesting," another protester told me.

Rocky McGriff stopped to talk to me with his 11-year-old daughter, Nami. He was hopeful. Adding, "It's exactly what I grew up knowing America to be- as a melting pot. Everyone coming together as one when we feel like justice has been done wrong here."

Afia continued, the concern easy to hear in her voice. She looked at her two sons while explaining, "Yesterday he's telling me, 'Mom, I just want move away to where everybody has my skin color, because I'm scared. Am I going to be next?"

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the investigation into George Floyd's death in Minneapolis and protests across the U.S.