At least nine separate protests against police brutality were scheduled for Friday, including demonstrations in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Dana Point, Downey and Santa Monica.
The protests, sparked by the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minnesota and long-simmering anger over instances of police brutality, begin as early as 8 a.m. in downtown Los Angeles and continue through 5 p.m. in Long Beach.
Protesters with Justice L.A. will drop off roses at the Hall of Justice, 211 Temple St., between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to remember the first person to die from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County jail, the eight people who died in sheriff’s department custody in 2019, the 941 people who died at the hands of police in the county since 2000 and the 12,000 people in Los Angeles County jails.
A protest in solidarity with Black Lives Matter begins at 9 a.m. and will encourage protesters to lie down on the sand between the Venice and Santa Monica piers. Face masks are required for those attending.
Three events are scheduled at noon:
— Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Black Lives Matter will stage a demonstration outside Los Angeles City Hall, 200 Spring St. Protesters are asked to bring masks, protective eye wear, water and snacks, organizers said.
— A peaceful protest is scheduled to take place at Long Beach City College, 4901 E. Carson St.
— Black Lives Matter will hold a protest at Northridge Park, 18300 Lemarsh St.
Protests at Downey and Santa Monica city halls are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Protesters at the Downey demonstration are asked to bring a mask and anyone found with objects that can be used to deface property or harm others will be asked to leave, organizers said.
A Black Lives Matter march in Dana Point from the Dana Point Harbor to Salt Creek Beach Park is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
An anti-police brutality protest at Harvey Milk Promenade Park at 185 E. Third St. in Long Beach is scheduled for 5 p.m. Organizers said attendees are required to wear face masks.
On Thursday, several hundred protesters marched through the streets of Santa Monica 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 proceeded peacefully with no 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.
By midday, additional gatherings, rallies and marches were being held on the streets of Hollywood, in Santa Clarita and again at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles. Gatherings were also held in Inglewood and Burbank.
In Hollywood, the several hundred protesters walked through the area then began making their way south toward Mayor Eric Garcetti’s official residence in Hancock Park, which has been the scene of gatherings for the past two days. The group stood peacefully outside the home, at one point taking part in an extended moment of silence.
Eventually, the group began walking east toward Koreatown, eventually re-grouping at MacArthur Park before heading downtown.
In the Santa Clarita area, several groups of people began gathering around midday, rallying in the general vicinity of the Westfield Valencia Town Center and along Newhall Ranch Road. Sheriff’s officials reported no troubles with the protests, which were being held peacefully. However, deputies were stationed around the Town Center mall for protection, and a contingent of National Guard troops were brought in as a “proactive” step, sheriff’s officials said.
Rallies were also held at locations including UCLA’s Royce Hall, Burbank, El Sereno and Montebello.
In downtown Los Angeles, crowds again gathered outside City Hall and in front of LAPD headquarters. At one point, LAPD Chief Michel Moore came out and spoke to people in the crowd, and even dropped to one knee in a show of solidarity with the group.
“I welcome them here,” Moore told NBC4. “I welcome them being peaceful and to the extent of someone looking at whether we bend a knee as to a matter of us seeing each other, we are here to see each other.”
Protesters remained outside City Hall past 10 p.m. before leaving the area and moving south along Spring Street. No arrests were immediately reported.
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 Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.
L.A. County Supervisors are set to vote Tuesday on a bill to develop rules for protests, requiring social separation and other actions to protect demonstrators from the coronavirus. The motion directs the Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the sheriff and all other local law enforcement agencies in the county, to immediately issue guidance on health and safety measures regarding issuing citations, transporting and detaining protesters, using face masks, deciding when to implement physical distancing and when to use tear gas.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, the author of the motion, said that “Peaceful assembly is a cherished American right and we need policies and procedures that protect both protesters and law enforcement personnel. During the protests in Los Angeles over the last few days, not all law enforcement personnel were equipped with personal protective equipment. Protesters were detained without face masks and were not always able to maintain physical distancing. We must develop health policies and practices that reduce the risk of infection when people are exercising their First Amendment rights.”
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