Martinez Police Department preparing for ‘large-scale’ protest Sunday

Martinez Police Chief Manjit Sappal released information Tuesday to Martinez Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Martinez regarding an planned event.

A protest is planned Sunday, July 12 at 4 pm beginning at 725 Court Street and continuing to Waterfront Park. A Richmond-based group is organzing the protest along with several other groups.

Below is information from Chief Sappal.

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We recently received information of a large-scale protest planned for Sunday July 12th in Martinez.  While we are still gathering details, we have solid information that the Together We Stand Revolution (TWS Revolution) will be protesting in Martinez on July 12th.  This group has been involved in large scale demonstrations in Minneapolis, Charlottesville, and San Jose to name a few.  This group plans to link up with another group from Alameda County (Southern Alameda County Resistance) as well as with the local group, Martizians for Black Lives (led by Justin Gomez – Ed.).

We did speak to the organizers from TWS Revolution and given the national attention to the mural, the recent vandalism, and the incident involving the brandishing of a firearm we asked that they postpone the demonstration, but they declined to do so.  We anticipate several thousand people may show up as their protests usually draw a large crowd.  While they appear to be a peaceful group, we have intelligence that counter protestors will show up to protest against protestors.  It is during these instances that confrontations can escalate and create public safety challenges.

We will be working with the TWS Revolution group on logistics of their march.  As it stands they intend to meet at the Courthouse at 4:00 pm for a rally and then walk to the waterfront.   We will try to work with them on their walking route in hopes of minimizing any issues to our business community.

We will be making arrangements to have sufficient staff on duty to deal with any issues.  Our plan is to keep a small footprint of officers involved, as we have typically done, in hopes of not serving as a flashpoint for protestors.

We will recommend that the Farmer’s Market not take place as we cannot always predict whether any counter protestors will show up and at what time.

While we are not going to mandate businesses board up, we do recommend that merchants take whatever action they feel necessary to ensure their businesses are protected.  Again, while we anticipate a peaceful protest, we do expect a large group of people in the downtown area.

Manjit Sappal
Chief of Police
Martinez Police Department

31 Replies to “Martinez Police Department preparing for ‘large-scale’ protest Sunday

  1. Chief

    With all due respect this plan has already been a proven failure. The previous city’s tried it and it ended up in violence and destruction . All the cities you mentioned ended up with hostilities that the police could not handle. The fact this group denied a simple request from you shows that they don’t care about Martinez. This will end up in a bad situation and when they leave. The city and its residents, and destroyed businesses will be left to clean up. I hate seeing what’s going on in our country and don’t want to see that happen in Martinez. Please rethink your plans ask for help. Get the national guard involved. Don’t let them destroy your city.

  2. Thank you to the Martinez News-Gazette for providing timely, factual reporting about this rapidly evolving story. Information on social media is often confusing and conflicting.

  3. What on Earth makes you think this will be peaceful? Because all the other protest were certainly not.

    1. Hi David,

      This is the third protest in Martinez this year and all have been organized and requested by Martinez residents. The mural was paid for with donations from and painted by Martinez residents.

      This is not just your town, it’s my town and our town, and we welcome this here.

  4. As a 20 year Martinez resident, let me put the Chief’s words into something all Martinez residents understand:

    “Our city is screwed. There will be violence and damage, so board up everything Saturday.”

    All posting against this predictable riot (oopps, “protest”) are 100% correct. In a decision way beyond idiotic, our “woke” council somehow figured this would show in-opposed support for a Marxist, anti-American, anti-police group – WRONG!

    Chief – God bless you and MPD but your idiotic bosses have really blown this one.

    God bless the MPD and the legal, law abiding and VOTING citizens of Martinez

  5. Wasn’t the permit issued by the city to BLM just for a parade on that date. It wasn’t issued to paint BLACK LIVES MATTER on a public street! How is painting over a two letters on a public street be a hate crime or vandalism when burning the American flag on that same public street is a Constitutionally protected right?

    1. Hi there,

      The permit was requested and granted for the mural, paid for by donations from Martinez residents.

      No one was burning an American flag. Where Did you hear that was happening in Martinez? Please don’t promote and spread hateful comments.

    1. Galser, I think you need to get a grip and if you’re going to attend this event, you better be prepared to defend yourself!

      This will start out as a peaceful protest starting at 4:00 PM and by 11: PM our nice downtown city will be vandalized, looted and destroyed by people that don’t even live here!

      People, you must wake!

      1. Hi there,

        For what it’s worth we are all tax paying citizens if we live in Martinez. 🙂

        No one from this movement is planning to stay until 11pm, the even ends at 6. Frankly we have dinners to make and children to get to bed. Please don’t spread hate in our community.

        1. Please snap back into the real life. Did all the other protests end at 11pm?? Hell no they didn’t. Last I checked they burned down a police department, hurt firefighters and thrashed mom and pop stores who had nothing to do with anything.
          In 2015 while I was out walking my 2 dogs a car pulled up and inside were 3 black men. They started shooting and I was hit in my left leg by a .45 bullet. That night 7 other white people were shot one being a 93 year old woman. I didn’t gather a shit ton of people to protest or hang anyone.
          This bullshit needs to stop. BLM lol NOTHING MORE RACIST THEN SPEWING SOME BULLSHT LIKE THAT! For everyone else have a great day. Come and try to thrash my house and see how that works out for you.

  6. Dear Chief Sappal,

    I guess your paycheck is more important than the oath you took when you were sworn into office.

    You don’t have to oversee this as an official. The town you swore to protect and defend is screwed by the politicians who rolled over for this event. If you don’t resign, you will also be part of the problem.

    Be an American and do the right thing.

  7. How sad! I love how the “counter protesters” are already being blamed for the possible vandalism and violence. The good news is I am sure they will all where masks and social distance as they destroy your city.

  8. The fear expressed above is unfortunate. If local people come out and support a peaceful march it is far more likely to work out. If we allow hecklers and white supremacists to prevail then it’s partly on us. Martinez needs to be on the correct side of social justice.

    1. Questions have been sent to the Mayor, regarding permitting procedures, timeline for this particular permit etc. Including: was the “hate flyer” traced to a certain individual/entity verifiably sufficient to bring a criminal charge? Can we rule out that the flyer was not disseminated by the protestors to get a fast-track proposal? City Hall has so stepped in it. Free speech is one thing. Partisan vandalism of public property is another. Martinez has always been a peaceful, equal-opportunity town. We didn’t deserve this. “Social justice” and all the illegitimate spawn of Critical Race Theory will be judged by history about as kindly as the Salem Witch Trials. Chill, Martinizians. Go to the beach on Sunday.

      1. Hi there,

        Clearly Martinez is not a equal opportunity town, the schools show it, the kinds of hateful rhetoric being used here show it, and the recent events show it. We truly need to re-evaluate this. This is a peaceful place for white people to live but not BIPOC. That’s what this protest is about. We want ALL residents to feel welcome here, and until Black people feel welcome that can’t be true.

    2. Thanks Tom! I agree!

      It would be great if you could call into the city council meeting and tell the council members how you feel! They need to hear from us.

    3. What white supremists? You all keep acting like we have the KKK here. I grew up in the bay but again here goes this stupid race war to make you guys act like we have a race problem.

      1. Well, the guy with the 3 and a half inch swastika tattooed on his neck down the street definitely isn’t a member of the NAACP, dog.

  9. To some of these commenters: to say that literally “all” Black Lives Matter protests are violent and destructive is grossly inaccurate. Just do your research. The chief clearly states that the introduction of “counter protesters” is where the risk lies. You can bet on those counter protesters repeating many of the ignorant/divisive remarks I’m reading here: “Keep this crap out,” “these people,” “anti-American/police,” “Marxist.” It shows a complete lack of understanding of what the Black Lives Matter movement is about.

    And just to clarify, the Black Lives Matter organization is not about totally dismantling the police. It’s about retraining them and redirecting SOME police funds to specialized organizations who are better equipped to handle cases police aren’t trained to handle–mental illness, behavior management in schools, etc.

    No doubt the potential for damage is there. Potentially thousands of people will participate. It’s very difficult to account for that many variables. But meeting these protesters with this sort of hate is the surefire way to escalate the situation to the point of violence.

    1. Hi! Would you mind calling in to the next city council meeting and sharing with our council members and mayor how you feel? They need to hear this from you! Thank you!!

  10. The organization Black Lives Matter are Marxist. They literally want to tear down this country by force and replace it with communism. Not my words but the words of their founders. The city should not of allowed the mural to be painted. It is divisive. They also want to defund police. I don’t believe in 2020 we have systemic racism in police.

  11. Why are they marching?! Who do they expect to be listening to their chants? Black people are way more hateful towards other races as well as homophobic and violent than all others. Go back to Richmond and focus on your toxic culture.

  12. Why is event scheduled for very late afternoon? 4:00 PM? The 2 crumpled paper “flyers” found were full of misspellings – and made no sense. We have had no time to prepare – and CCC has increased Covid 19 rules for social distancing and face masks at churches and outdoor dining. What has BLM done that is unique and different? How about a letter writing campaign? A program to help persons of color that is proactive and engaging? Martinez is WORKING CLASS – and very DIVERSE. Those of priviledge are not located in Martinez!

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