Hundreds of Los Angeles Protesters Take the Streets in Lieu of George Floyd
Saturday 4:30 p.m.: “Say his name”, “No justice, no peace” these were among chants that were shouted by protesters on May 30 in Downtown Los Angeles following the murder of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
George Floyd was killed during an arrest that included four Minnesota police officers, one was former officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes until Floyd stopped breathing.
Bystanders filmed the incident and the video quickly went viral, sparking Black Lives Matter movements across the nation. Thousands of people took to the streets waving signs over the course of the last few days, with some protests turning violent with looting and vandalism.
“It’s crazy to believe that in 2020 ignorance still divides our nation and our president who supposed to be our leader is just driving us apart,” a protester told Scriberr News.
The president tweeted at 12:53 a.m. ET: “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. I just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
The tweet drew criticism and confusion as many felt the president was labeling the black protesters as “thugs.” The president tweeted earlier in the day that the group inciting violence was ANTIFA, a militant group often attributed to the far-left, and tweeted “Don’t lay the blame on others.”
5:30 p.m.: As the protesters marched down into the fashion district, the crowd disrupted traffic. Once reaching Figueroa Street, the crowd began to sit down blocking an intersection.
One protester told Scriberr News, “Disrupting traffic is the best form of protest, no one gets hurt, and it brings attention to the issue at hand.” Meanwhile, police wearing riot gear and armed with tear gas began to close in on the crowd.
Police reinforcements arrived at the scene around 6:00 p.m. as protests intensified.
Protesters shouted at the police: “We are your sons and daughters, and you antagonize us and kill us.”
“We hear your anger and your pain. We will always facilitate freedom of speech. Period,” the LAPD said in a statement on Twitter. “All we ask is that protests are held in a safe and legal manner.”
The protest had some violent outbreaks where police cruisers were vandalized and destroyed. Walls were sprayed with graffiti, FTP was spray-painted on bus stops, and some shops and buildings were looted.
At a news conference in the evening, Mayor Eric Garcetti had planned to discuss Friday night’s protest and violence. Instead, he pleaded for peace as people climbed on a metro bus and set police cars ablaze in the Fairfax District. Garcetti announced a curfew in effect in Downtown Los Angeles beginning from 8 p.m. Saturday to 5:30 a.m. Sunday.