Two teenage sisters and their mother were allegedly attacked by Black Lives Matter protesters during a vigil in Stockton, California.
The two teens, both white, were walking out of a local restaurant and passed by the protest. They said they were then attacked by individuals believed to be from out of town.
“Our understanding is that it involved several out-of-towners whose intent was more than protesting,” San Joaquin County Assistant District Attorney Ron Freitas told KHTK. The girls’ mother told RecordNet that her daughters, ages 17 and 19, were attacked by 12 to 14 protesters -- repeatedly punching them in the face, head and ribs, throwing water bottles at them and making racial remarks towards them.
“It was the most frightening thing I’ve ever been through in my whole life,” the 19-year-old said. Both teens said they felt they were attacked because they’re white.
“My eyes were pretty much closed the whole time,” the 19-year-old said. “I was just trying to cover my face. I kept waiting for the cops to come.”
The teens, as well as their mother, said they felt as though the police officers who responded did not do enough to stop the attack, even going so far as to say the officers almost acted as if they allowed the violence.
“I get that they have the right to protest, but once you do something illegal, I think it needs to be shut down, but they let them keep walking the street,” the 19-year-old said.
Officer Joe Silva, a spokesman for the Stockton Police Department, said his department would review its methods and evaluate the way the situation was handled.
The protesters were holding a vigil for Colby Friday, who was shot and killed by Stockton police in August.
“After each protest, we always evaluate our strategies to see if any changes are needed,” he said. “Our standard practice has been that when we identify law violators through our investigation into each protest, we document the crimes and route the reports to the District Attorney’s Office for their review. For example, protesters we've identified who block the street.”