Rallies in Oakland honor George Floyd on one-year anniversary of his death

On this anniversary of George Floyd's murder by a police officer, for many in Oakland, it was a day of grief, anger, and reflection.

"It is important to remember George Floyd because this country is in danger," said George Holland, president of the NAACP in Oakland.

During a gathering to honor George Floyd, Holland said Floyd's death showed the country what so many African Americans have known for a long time.

"The biggest fear most of us have as African American men and women is, 'I don't want to get arrested.' Because in America you might die. We have to pay attention to that," said Holland.

"This brutal murder reminds us of the violence that is white supremacy and its persistent theft of black health, wealth, and well-being," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. She thanked the protesters who took to the streets of her city after Floyd's death. She also thanked those who helped clean the broken glass and debris after the demonstrations were over.

She told the gathering that in the aftermath, officer misconduct cases are being moved out of the police department to an independent police commission.

The police chief acknowledged some officers should not have badges.

"I promise change is on the way. We are going to do it the right way in Oakland. And when we do it wrong we are going to acknowledge it and be transparent about it," said Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong.

East Bay congresswoman Barbara Lee called for the U.S. Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act. Among the reforms are improving police training and creating a national standard for officer accountability.

"Our fight for justice will continue in Mr. Floyd's honor and will not stop until all black lives matter. All Black lives matter," said Lee.

In another part of Oakland, groups that included the Anti-Police Terror Project also held a rally.

The organization has been working on a blueprint for re-imagining public safety in Oakland. That includes taking away many non-emergency duties, such as mental health calls,  from officers and giving them to other appropriate departments.

"Defunding the police is taking a clear and rational look at services and re-prioritizing what we have police do so we can spend the money on housing, health care, and other services," said James Burch of the project

"The conviction of George Floyd's murder does not mean we have fixed the system," said Lee.