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I Can’t Breathe’ Protesters Stage Die-In At San Diego City Council Inauguration

Photo caption:

Photo by Angela Carone

Protesters staged a "die-in" Wednesday during the San Diego City Council inauguration ceremonies.

Protesters chanted "I can't breathe" and "Toy gun, don't shoot" outside Golden Hall where the San Diego City Council and the public were gathering inside Wednesday morning for the swearing in of City Councilman Chris Cate and three re-elected members of the panel.

The group then attended the inauguration ceremony where they staged a protest inside Golden Hall. The protesters first stood with hands raised before lying down on the floor and staging a "die-in."

Cate, who was the vice president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, won the runoff election last month for District 6, which includes Mira Mesa, Kearny Mesa and part of Clairemont. A Republican, he defeated Democrat Carol Kim.

City Council elections are nonpartisan but party politics are often a factor in the races and after the members begin to govern.

Cate is a former council staff member for Republican Kevin Faulconer, who became mayor this year.

Photo caption:

Photo by Angela Carone

Chris Cate gets sworn in as a San Diego city councilman by his father, a California Highway Patrol officer, while his fiancé held the Bible.

After taking the oath of office from his father, a California Highway Patrol officer, Cate said he and his staff would work to reduce traffic congestion and support small businesses and entrepreneurs.

"We will be accessible and exceptional," he said during his remarks.

Cate did not acknowledge the protesters when addressing the crowd, nor did any other officials on stage, but later said he was happy they were able to express their opinions.

"I'm looking forward to making sure we have positive solutions for whatever their issues are in the city," he said as protesters gathered behind him.

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Mark Jones, who led the rally, handed Cate a document listing the changes the group was seeking. Jones said the group was a coalition of people from universities and colleges in San Diego.

Cate's inauguration allowed the council to choose a new leader. Such a vote had been scheduled for Monday due to a quirk in the council rules, but it was postponed until Wednesday so he could vote on the decision.


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