By Debra Moore
Lt. Erik Egide, commander of the Quincy office of the California Highway Patrol, and eight of his officers have been in Sacramento since yesterday defending the state capitol during protests surrounding the death of George Floyd.
During an interview this morning, Egide said he was on the grounds of the capitol from about 8 a.m. yesterday, May 30, until around midnight. “Our primary goal is to keep people safe and protect property,” he said.
A crowd of more than 1,000 began to amass at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, and the officers’ response depended on the situation. Sometimes it’s necessary to form a human barricade, other times it’s enough to mill around and be a presence, he said.
“There was a lot of water bottle throwing,” Egide said about members of the crowd near the capital, but he didn’t see a lot of the devastation that has happened in other cities.
Egide said that the majority of the protesters he witnessed were peacefully trying to exercise their First Amendment rights, though some use it as an opportunity for bad behavior. “Our job is to allow people to exercise their rights safely,” he said.
While Egide and eight of his staff are in Sacramento, what does that mean for Plumas County? “All of our officers are working,” Egide said, noting that this is the case not only in Quincy, but throughout the state, as officers are dispersed out of their primary areas to help in hotspots.
“The closest thing that I have seen to this is the Ferguson riots of 2014-15,” Egide said.
Egide is unsure of when he will be able to return to Quincy; he will be in Sacramento as long as needed. While Sacramento police officers and sheriff’s deputies are responsible for areas throughout the rest of the city and county, it is the job of the CHP to protect the state capital building and state officials.