‘If you want real change, educate yourself, vote’: San Antonio native explains what prompted him to join protests

Unheard: Marc Magallanez - Protester

SAN ANTONIO**Editor’s note - “Unheard: Stories from the Alamo City” is a KSAT feature that gives our viewers the chance to tell their unique stories. The idea is to give a voice to the voiceless. Find more stories like this or share your powerful story on our Unheard page.

Over the past month, since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police, protests have erupted around the world, including in San Antonio.

Marc Magallanez was born and raised on the south side of San Antonio. He’s the first to admit he didn’t have a great upbringing, including brushes with the law, but says he has changed and now better understands the value of education, voting and representation.

Magallanez, a San Antonio College student studying public administration, says his past experiences with law enforcement prompted him to join the protests in San Antonio.

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"In order to get respect, you've got to give respect," Magallanez said. "How are we supposed to give respect when we get disrespected all the time?"

Not only is Magallanez frustrated with how he and other people of color have been treated, but also by the often-minimal consequences that officers and deputies in San Antonio and Bexar County face when they violate the law or department policy.

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In particular, he notes the case where SAPD officer Matthew Luckhurst gave a homeless man a feces sandwich or the case where SAPD officer Mara Wilson pulled a woman’s tampon out and conducted a vaginal search on side of the road. Luckhurst was ultimately terminated but only after years of appeals.

"It amazes me that these are real stories," Magallanez said.

Magallangez hopes the current protests will end in some positive policy being put into place within San Antonio and Bexar County, but he encourages protesters to organize and educate themselves.

“If you want real change, educate yourself and vote,” Magallanez said. “The thing they fear most is an educated minority, they fear an educated colored person such as myself.”

About the Author:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter.