Protesters who remained in Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles in defiance of a curfew order for all of Los Angeles County were in custody Thursday morning facing curfew violations.
Protesters remained seated within the park grounds, which is located in Los Angeles County, sometimes chanting, after the curfew went into effect at 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Los Angeles police declared an unlawful assembly about 10 p.m. after protesters refused to leave the area near City Hall. It was unclear how many protesters were taken into custody.
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.
The lights at Dodger Stadium lit up for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and The Dream Center had its lights moving back and forth, while some staff members pointed lights skyward, NBC4 reported.
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.”
At noon Wednesday, hundreds of people gathered at Santa Monica and La Cienega boulevards in West Hollywood for a rally organized by the LGBTQ community in support of Black Lives Matter.
Participants peacefully stood on sidewalks on all four corners of the intersection, holding signs and flags, although the gathering eventually spilled into the street as the crowd swelled to more than 1,000. At one point, hundreds of protesters were seen lying in the street and taking part in several minutes of silence.
The group marched to Robertson Boulevard and back, then later marched again on a circular route through the heart of Hollywood. The group then splintered, with some marching back west into West Hollywood, while hundreds more walked south to 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 and two incidents were reported.
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.
“There was no contact,” Heather Rangel, spokesperson for the Newport Beach Police Department, told the Orange County Register. “They were actually not hit by the car.”
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., Rangel said.
The suspect and the protester got into an argument and the suspect pulled a gun from his backpack, then ran from the area, Rangel said.
Anyone who witnessed the altercation was asked to contact Detective Rick Henry at 949-644-3797 or via email at email@example.com.
Los Angeles County imposed a curfew Wednesday for the fourth consecutive day. It went into effect at 9 p.m. and will expire at 5 a.m. Thursday. The previous countywide curfews lasted from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Some confusion ensued when a regional cellphone alert message was sent out, saying the county sheriff’s department will begin enforcing the curfew at 10 p.m. County officials clarified that the curfew order still takes effect at 9 p.m., and law enforcement agencies can begin enforcing it at their discretion.
Los Angeles also issued a curfew order, which mirrors the county’s hours, beginning at 9 p.m. and ending at 5 a.m.
Most cities in the area were also adhering to the county’s curfew hours, but Culver City’s curfew began at 6 p.m., while Beverly Hills’ started at 1 p.m. in the business district and expanded citywide at 4 p.m. Beverly Hills has announced another curfew that will take effect at 6 p.m. Thursday and continue until 6 a.m. Friday.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the City and County of Los Angeles, calling the curfews “draconian” and demanding they end immediately.
Garcetti on Tuesday night defended the curfews.
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