Skip to Content

Santa Barbara Ferguson Protest Remains Peaceful

Tense Moments in Santa Barbara March

A crowd estimated at 500 demonstrators brought a strong police presence to downtown Santa Barbara Tuesday night. The event disrupted traffic, but was peaceful with no arrests.

The group started with a planned demonstration in front of the old courthouse, before becoming a walking demonstration down State Street. The group then turned onto Carrillo, the main street linking downtown with the 101 Freeway.

Santa Barbara police were aware of the planned protest and responded quickly with officers along Carrillo at Bath and Castillo to dissuade the group from heading toward Highway 101.

The response was described as a “tactical alert response for a civil disturbance,” according to police spokesman Sgt. Riley Harwood.

The group turned around after encountering police on Carrillo, and went back to State Street where they marched up and down several downtown blocks before ending their demonstration with a “sit-in” outside the police department headquarters on Figueroa.

Those taking part in the demonstration were responding to the events in Ferguson, Missouri, where a grand jury declined to file charges against the white police officer who fatally shot and killed an unarmed black teenager this summer. That incident and Monday’s subsequent legal decision both resulted in rioting with cars and buildings burned and stores vandalized.

None of that happened during Tuesday night’s event in Santa Barbara.

“This is not about looting. It’s about sending a message that you don’t care about us, we don’t care about you. The system is ‘us verses them,’ and it’s not OK,” said protester Martin Leyva.

“We want our voices heard. We want to hold peaceful protests like Michael Brown’s family wanted to hear,” said demonstrator Michael Aiken.

Maura Sullivan said she came to the demonstration to share her concerns about the treatment of minority groups.

“Black lives matter. Brown lives matter. Women’s lives matter. That’s why we are here,” she said.

Santa Barbara Police did request help from the California Highway Patrol because of the freeway access concerns. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s office was also notified, but never responded to the protests.

Many took to social media to share their images and video.






Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

News Channel 3-12

Email the News Channel 3-12 Team


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content