Black Lives Matter protest San Clemente homeless man fatally shot

Protestors kneeling in front of Miramar Hotel, where Kurt Reinhold was fatally shot and killed. Katarina De Almeida/Lariat

Masks up, fists raised and megaphones blaring, South Orange County Black Lives Matter organized a protest for the BLM movement on Sept. 24, after Kurt Andres Reinhold was fatally shot in front of Hotel Miramar on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

According to a statement released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the deputy who shot and killed Reinhold was from the Homeless Outreach Team. The deputy shot Reinhold when he allegedly reached for the deputy’s weapon. An official recording of the altercation has not yet been released, but a witness captured footage from across the street.

The South Orange County Black Lives Matter march began outside the San Clemente Police Services and ended at Hotel Miramar San Clemente, where Reinhold was wrestled to the ground and killed for jaywalking. During the 1.2 mile march, protestors chanted “Black lives they matter here, homeless lives they matter here,” along with Kurt Reinhold’s and Breonna Taylor’s names.

The officer involved in the raid that caused Taylor’s death, Brett Hankison, has not been charged for killing her. Instead, he was indicted for wanton endangerment, which means he endangered other neighbors’ lives while recklessly firing his weapon. This verdict sparked outrage and triggered BLM protestors as they continue to demand justice.

As the protesters knelt beside a memorial for Reinhold, a handful of participants shared their thoughts with the crowd. Fiona Meehan, a resident of Rancho Santa Margarita and freshman at Saddleback College, shared her experience from the protest held at 10 a.m. on Sept. 24.

“Use your privilege, use your body as a shield,” she said. “If you see those videos, all those white people who are in the street, the cops weren’t coming after [them] they were only coming after the people of color. Their mom is sitting outside, outside of Santa Ana jail. I just got back from there, waiting to hear back from her son because the cops have been driving them around, all over, but they haven’t put them in jail so they can bail them out.”

Multiple BLM protesters joined together during the protest to pay their respects to Reinhold and encourage others to use their voice. Reflecting on the lack of charges filed against the officers involved in the death of Taylor, Reinhold’s death has lit a fire under the community.

List of deaths caused by the police in the U.S. since July 2014 by NPR.