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Gov. Newsom: 'The Black Community Is Not Responsible For What Is Happening'

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Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered an update on the demonstrations across the state. You can read highlights below or watch the full press conference above.


Newsom spoke about those he said are trying to exploit the current moment, citing looting, violence, and threats, as opposed to protesters.

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"That has no place in this state and in this nation — we as a society need to call that out," Newsom said.

Newsom said that, in some instances, violence by police was not necessary to keep the peace. He said that it was important not to create an environment that puts people in harm's way. Newsom said any acts of violence against others will be investigated, whether they be by those in uniforms or by members of the community.

Newsom said that he had a responsibility to prove to those protesting that they matter and that he cares.

"You've lost patience — so have I. You are right to feel wronged. You are right to feel the way you are feeling, and we collectively, society has a responsibility to you to be better, and to do better," Newsom said.

The governor declined to name extremist groups that he referenced as participating in some of the issues across the state, noting that he didn't want to promote them.

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Speaking about the issues facing California, Newsom talked about whether leaders could meet this moment and do justice to what's to come.

"The black community is not responsible for what is happening in this country right now — we are," Newsom said. "Let's just call that out. We have a unique responsibility to the black community in this country, and we've been paying lip service about that for generations."


The state has more than 4,500 National Guard members available to respond to protests if needed, Newsom said. He said that they have been disproportionately assigned to Southern California, and that those National Guard members are used to respond to requests from mayors and police chiefs.


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The governor said that they want everyone to be tested, adding that the state's testing center locator indicates which testing sites are open today, though some sites are being closed due to protests. Yesterday, more than 67,000 COVID-19 tests were conducted, Newsom said.


Newsom said that his reaction to President Donald Trump's call to governors to get tough on protesters included the meeting he had today with faith leaders and the rest of the message he delivered during his press conference. When asked about Newsom's decision not to criticize the president since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Newsom said there are more important messages than trying to be part of the daily news cycle.

He noted several times during his news conference, as well as when asked about whether the president was failing to provide leadership, that leaders and leadership can be found anywhere. When it isn't coming from those in formal leadership positions, Newsom said, it can be found elsewhere, such as with the moral leadership of faith leaders.


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Monday's press conference was held at Sacramento's Genesis Church.

Genesis Church Pastor Tecoy Porter opened up the press conference, speaking following the governor meeting with faith leaders. Porter described the current moment as a "double pandemic" — with the nation dealing with both coronavirus and racism, following what happened to George Floyd.

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