Wednesday afternoon, following the protest at the Fresno police headquarters for Freddy Centeno, civil rights activist Rev. Floyd Harris Jr. was followed from the protest and then stopped and cited for a warrant related to the Black Lives Matter demonstration on August 10th. The August 10th protest interrupted traffic in front of the Federal Building in Downtown Fresno.
“So after the protest at the Fresno Police department brother Ed was taking me back to the West Side.” Floyd said. “Ed said there were two cops following us from Club One. Once we reached the greyhound bus station the cops put their lights on us.”
Two activists were also singled out on August 10th and cited for traffic violations following the protest. The citations are FPD’s new tactic to repress free speech demonstrations that cause interruptions in traffic.
“Cops said we have a warrant out for Mr. Harris’ arrest.” Floyd continued. “So the young black cop ask me to get out of the car and put my hands on top of my head while he pat me down.”
Two supervisors arrived and told Floyd he would be released if he signed the ticket.
“The cop said I’m costing the city of Fresno a lot of money by not getting the correct permits to close streets. I said maybe the Mayor of Fresno will pay for the permit for us.” Floyd said. “What was interesting is the two senior cops had the two young cops do their dirty work. The two young cops seemed very out of place and didn’t want to jam me but they had to do their job.”
Floyd concluded, “Dyer promised better training with the officers who came in contact with our family members with mental illnesses, but he lied. But Dyer told the truth when he said he was going to arrest us for protesting.”
“They (Fresno police) are doing this ‘community policing,’ where they give our kids hotdogs and bring them bounce houses,” he said. “And then when those kids turn 15, they shoot them in the back.”
Dvera Saxton says Floyd is needed in the community.
“My preacher-man friend Floyd Harris Jr. is facing jail time for protesting without permits. He taught me and others to drive a tractor, he’s working with black youth to start a farm and farm market business, he came to my house w/ about 6 church ladies and 2 youth to make green tomato relish, and on Saturday we’re supposed to make green tomato pie for the Fresno Fair to boost the skill-sets, confidence and morale of West Fresno black youth, who I am confident will win the prize for the best entry in the Natural Foods for Health Category.
Floyd is needed in the community…not locked up or slammed with outrageous fines for a law (permits for protests) that violates basic civil liberties…
He protests non-violently, marching with comrades, youth, and allies through the streets, to defend the black community in Fresno, and other marginalized and oppressed communities that are abused, shot at, killed, and harassed by the FPD, the City of Fresno, and other powers that be. Most recently, the FPD shot and killed a mentally ill man who had a hose sprayer in his hand.”
Floyd is set to appear in court for protest related traffic violations in January 2016.
Contact Rev. Floyd Harris Jr. for more information at (559) 790-4277.