The Los Angeles Police Department was placed on tactical alert Friday as a precaution in response to a third day of protests against police brutality in downtown Los Angeles.
Demonstrators gathered outside City Hall about 5 p.m. and marched south on Spring Street, then north on Figueroa Street, 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 arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday.
The LAPD was placed on tactical alert about 2:20 p.m. Friday, according to Officer Tony Im of the Los Angeles Police Department.
“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 small number of detractors,” the LAPD said in a statement issued Friday afternoon.
“The violence involved dangerous projectiles directed at our people as well as some property damage to businesses in the area. While isolated, if left unchallenged we face the potential of those actions expanding and hurting innocent individuals.”
Said LAPD Chief Michel Moore: “We stand with our communities and rebuke any instance of police brutality as well as acts of violence or property damage.”
The issuing of a tactical alert requires all on-duty personnel to remain on duty, Im said.
“We’re going to have more people on-duty because staff is not going home… For example, all the day watch people stay on and the night watch people have started, so we have double the amount of staffing,” Im said.
Protests in Los Angeles have been largely peaceful, though some demonstrators shattered the windows of two on-duty California Highway Patrol vehicles while hundreds of demonstrators blocked traffic on the Hollywood (101) Freeway, near Alameda Street, downtown Wednesday afternoon.
Thursday’s protests outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters were on a smaller scale, and some demonstrators surrounded a California Highway Patrol vehicle, but it did not appear to sustain damage, even as at least one protester kicked the cruiser.
Another handful of protesters threw water bottles and a skateboard at a law enforcement vehicle near the headquarters. That car also sped off without visible damage.
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