LA preparing for more violence after looting, protests on Friday

Los Angeles police were planning for another challenging day of demonstrations today after multiple businesses were looted and many protesters arrested Friday night in Downtown Los Angeles, amid demonstrations against police brutality following the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday.

An official with the Los Angeles Police Department said the LAPD has a plan in place for keeping the peace during Saturday’s events, but was not releasing further details.

Long Beach so far has not seen large protests, but details of a 3 p.m. demonstration on Sunday at police headquarters Downtown were circulating on social media.

Protests are expected to begin again in Los Angeles at noon, with a demonstration calling for justice for Floyd and immediate safe release of prisoners in the Men’s Central Jail and Twin Towers Correctional Facility.

Also at noon, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles will hold a rally at Pan Pacific Park, 7600 Beverly Blvd., to call for an end to police brutality against unarmed black Americans and for justice in the death of Floyd and for “the 601 people murdered by police in L.A. County.”

Another protest, hosted by the Coalition for Community Control Over the Police, is set for 1 p.m. outside LAPD’s Southeast Station, 145 W. 108th St. and will include a march to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office at 1310 W. Imperial Highway.

At 3 p.m., a demonstration is scheduled at Mariachi Plaza, 1831 E. First St. to demand the release of all prisoners, as well as an end to police terror and “crime against Latinos and blacks.”

People took to the streets Friday for the third consecutive night to demand justice for George Floyd, who died Monday after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white Minneapolis Police Department officer, Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee on the 46-year-old man’s neck for several minutes while three other officers looked on.

Video footage of the arrest, in which Floyd is heard saying “I can’t breathe,” spread widely online, and all four officers were fired.

Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday.

The LAPD was placed on tactical alert at 2:20 p.m. as a precaution ahead of the protests, according to Officer Tony Im.

“While the vast majority of individuals in Los Angeles have expressed those views in a peaceful manner, we have witnessed an increasing level of violence and property damage committed by a small number of detractors,” the LAPD said in a statement issued Friday afternoon.

The violence involved “dangerous projectiles” directed at officers as well as some property damage to businesses in the area, authorities said.

Moore added: “We stand with our communities and rebuke any instance of police brutality as well as acts of violence or property damage.”

A Target store at 7th and Figueroa streets, a Rite Aid store at 7th and Hope streets, along with the 6th Street Market and the Starbucks on 6th Street between Broadway and Main Street and jewelry stores near 6th Street and Broadway were among the businesses looted just before midnight Friday.

A trash can was set on fire near Olympic Boulevard and Hill Street and quickly extinguished by officers. Three fires were set near the intersection of Hill and Seventh streets, one in the intersection, another south of the intersection on Hill Street and a third on a sidewalk near a building.

As Los Angeles firefighters arrived to extinguish the flames, someone in the crowd grabbed a department fire hose and tossed it into the fire burning in the intersection.

At least one Los Angeles Police Department cruiser was tagged with graffiti.

Arrests were reported. A person answering the phone at the Metropolitan Detention Center could not give an exact number of arrests, but stated it was a “busload.”

 

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