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City Of Fresno Declares June 18th Black Lives Matter Day, Approves Chokehold Ban

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Madi Bolanos
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DJ Kay Rich and City of Fresno council members at street art event on Thursday.

The Fresno City Council announced the declaration of an annual Black Lives Matter Day at a street art event in front of Fresno City Hall on Thursday. 

About 200 people filtered in and out of the three hour event; many of them helped paint Black Lives Matter in huge letters on P street in front of city hall. Community Activist DJ Kay Rich, who organized the event, says Fresno residents came to him with the idea.  

“I know I have a platform so I started pressuring the community to say ‘hey go on over to the city of Fresno’s instagram account and drop a comment saying that we want to paint Black Lives Matter in front of city hall,” said Rich. “Over 1,000 plus comments later. I get a call from City Manager Wilma [Quan].”  

Rich said the city was on board and willing to collaborate from the start. And by their own initiative, city council members unanimously voted to declare July 18th Black Lives Matter Day in Fresno. 

“This is a step in the correct direction but it’s important that this took place on this day, June 18th, one day before Juneteenth,” said Rich.  

Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States in 1865. City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria also announced at the event, the council’s approval to ban the use of choke and strangle holds by the Fresno Police Department.

 

Madi Bolanos covered immigration and underserved communities for KVPR from 2020-2022. Before joining the station, she interned for POLITCO in Washington D.C. where she reported on US trade and agriculture as well as indigenous women’s issues during the Canadian election. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in anthropology from San Francisco State University. Madi spent a semester studying at the Danish Media and Journalism School where she covered EU policies in Brussels and alleged police brutality at the Croatian-Serbian border.