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Protesters march in Cerritos — and invite sheriff’s deputies to join them

Demonstrators including Dillon Redd, 20, front, march in the streets in a peaceful protest in Cerritos on Monday.
(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

Scores of protesters peacefully marched to Cerritos City Hall on Monday, accompanied by sheriff’s deputies who had been invited along by the young organizers.

“This is not about us, this it is not about politics, nor is it about our opinions. This is about morality and humanity and our efforts to stand together in unity for Black Lives Matter,” co-organizer Cerys Rotoneo, 19, told about 100 people gathered in Gridley Park before they marched. It was one of many demonstrations to express outrage over the killing by by police of George Floyd.

Rptoneo and Guadalupe Juarez, 18, had originally planned to protest with friends and raise money for a nonprofit group near Los Cerritos Center. But the event went viral and they learned outsiders planned to attend, and they worried that their nonviolent message could be lost.

Michael O'Quinn, 45, of Compton, prays during a peaceful protest where demonstrators laid down for the amount of time that George Floyd was on the ground, outside the Cerritos Sheriff's Station in Cerritos on Monday.
(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)
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“So we were like, we should probably change the location, just to make sure that looting doesn’t happen and so forth,” said Rotoneo, a political science student at Cerritos College.

Dozens of sheriff’s deputies still were staged in the mall’s parking lots and blocked off entry points, fearful of looting.

But other officers traveled with the protesters, on foot and in squad car, as they walked to City Hall and chanted.

“These young people have been fantastic and very accepting and supportive of me being here,” said David Moeller, a captain in the California Highway Patrol’s Santa Fe Springs office. “This is really what we need, right? It’s that communication that needs to go on. So, we don’t always have to agree on everything but we have to be willing to sit down and discuss things.”

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California Highway Patrol Captain of the Santa Fe Springs station, David Moeller, right, hands out water to demonstrators during a peaceful protest in Cerritos.
(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)


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