Ontario protest organizer demands more racial equity, police transparency

ONTARIO – Organizers of the Black Lives Matter protest in Ontario on Thursday afternoon listed demands for better training for local police and more racial equity in city affairs.

The list of eight demands came just hours before the scheduled start of the protest, set to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Albertsons parking lot in Ontario.

No organization is listed for the demands; they were posted on the Facebook page of the protest organizer, Charlie Gonzalez. The demonstration, which is scheduled to include a march to Ontario City Hall, is in the memory of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Minneapolis man killed while in police custody on Memorial Day.

The demands said the Ontario Police Department should “implement a citizen police review committee that will work to implement more police community outreach programs.” The list asks for more transparency in how the agency handles complaints against police officers and more transparency about de-escalation training for the officers.

The list suggests work for the Ontario City Council as well, including addressing “lack of gender diversity” on the council. The council is all men – Mayor Riley Hill and Councilors Norm Crume, Dan Capron, Freddy Rodriguez, Marty Justus, Ramon Palomo and Michael Braden.

The list also wants work on the city’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan, which seeks to align city spending on specific goals.

DOCUMENT: Ontario strategic plan

The demands ask for “more racial equity” in the plan and that the city “purposefully seek black and brown artists to be part of the Beautification section of the strategic plan and require artwork to represent the diversity in our community.”

The document also asks the city to continue a program of forgiving fines for ordinance violations. The strategic plan proposed ending such forgiveness. The document also asks for increased diversity training beyond what’s included in the plan – “Educate department heads on methods of interacting with a diverse community.”