Additional protest marches sparked by the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minnesota and long-simmering anger over instances of police brutality will be held across the Southland Thursday.
The marches, organized largely via social media, will follow a day that saw an estimated 10,000 people flood the streets of downtown Los Angeles — by far the largest gathering in more than a week of protests.
Several hundred protesters marched through the streets of Santa Monica Thursday morning in a peaceful procession. Santa Monica was hit hard by protests Sunday, leaving dozens of businesses vandalized and looted as bands of thieves took advantage of the spirited marches.
Thursday’s march was proceeding peacefully with signs of such violence. Authorities across the county have said the vast majority of protesters have conducted themselves peacefully during marches, while blaming criminal activity on roving bands of looters and agitators.
Among the marches anticipated Thursday were gatherings at:
— noon at Inglewood City Hall;
— noon to 4 p.m., starting at McCambridge Park in Burbank and proceeding to Burbank City Hall;
— 1 p.m. at UCLA’s Royce Hall to “honor these victims of police brutality and to demand the immediate defunding of LAPD”;
— 1 p.m. in El Sereno, starting at Eastside Cafe, 5469 Huntington Drive, and marching to Semillas del Pueblo, 4736 Huntington Drive;
— 1 p.m. at Montebello Park; and
— 4 p.m. at Sierra Vista Park, 611 E. Sierra Madre Blvd.
An unknown number of protesters were arrested Wednesday night in various locations, primarily for violating curfew orders, which took effect at 9 p.m. Los Angeles County and the city of Los Angeles have both announced that no more curfews will be imposed, following a lawsuit filed last Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Los Angeles police declared an unlawful assembly about 10 p.m. Wednesday at Grand Park after protesters refused to leave the area.
At the time the curfew went into effect, residents across the region used cell phones to light up the sky in honor of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Earlier, an estimated 10,000 protesters took to downtown Los Angeles to decry police brutality and condemn Floyd’s death in Minnesota.
Hundreds of protesters initially amassed outside City Hall Wednesday, but by early afternoon, the crowd moved around the corner to the office of District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Members of Black Lives Matter have been holding weekly protests outside Lacey’s office for more than a year, condemning what they see as her failure to prosecute police officers accused of misconduct.
Lacey, appearing on ABC7 Wednesday afternoon, insisted her office has not been soft on police. She said the District Attorney’s Office “under my leadership has actually prosecuted more than 20 officers for use of force.”
“I’m the only prosecutor in the state who currently has an officer-involved shooting case filed and pending,” she said. “And so while it may seem like things are not happening, they actually are.”
Additional marches and protests were held Wednesday in Hollywood, West Hollywood and outside Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s official residence in Hancock Park.
A smaller march and rally was held in La Verne, with about 300 people marching — joined by city officials and police officers. Another march was held in Downey, with police also keeping a close eye on the activity.
At least two protests were held in Long Beach, along with one in Warner Center. In Redondo Beach, several dozen protesters peacefully gathered in front of the South Bay Galleria and held up signs and chanted slogans.
A large march was held Wednesday morning in Anaheim, and multiple gatherings were held Wednesday afternoon in Newport Beach.
At one Newport Beach march, the driver of a Mini Cooper drove through a crowd of protesters walking in the westbound lanes of Balboa Boulevard around 4:30 p.m., forcing people to move out of the way to avoid being struck. The car struck a woman’s bicycle, but she managed to avoid injury. The car also brushed another bicycle that had an infant strapped into a carrier-seat.
The driver was located a short time later and detained.
At another march, a suspect pulled a gun on a protester near the intersection of 30th Street and Newport Boulevard about 3:20 p.m., police said. The suspect and the protester got into an argument and the suspect pulled a gun from his backpack, then ran from the area, according to police.
Anyone who witnessed the altercation was asked to contact Detective Rick Henry at 949-644-3797 or via email at email@example.com.
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