Police were out in force across Los Angeles today, trying to hold the peace amid multiple protests tied to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, as Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an overnight curfew for an area downtown Los Angeles.
In the Fairfax District, several hundred demonstrators converged, with many taking over the intersection of Third Street and Fairfax Avenue, shutting down traffic. At the nearby intersection of Third and Edinburgh Avenue, several police cars were vandalized and rubber bullets were fired to try to control the crowd. Police tried to hold the line against further advancement, and could be seen engaging in scuffles with some protesters, with some officers using their clubs.
The gathering followed a noon demonstration at Pan Pacific Park, at 7600 Beverly Blvd. A handful of similar demonstrations were planned for other areas of the city Saturday, including a 3 p.m. event in Boyle Heights. At a hastily scheduled news conference to address what the city is doing to keep the public safe, Garcetti announced a curfew for the areas bounded by ``the four freeways.''
The curfew is in effect from 5 p.m. Saturday to 5:30 a.m. Sunday, and Garcetti said it was issued at the request of Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore so officials could clean up Friday's mess. The mayor joined many other city officials Saturday in sympathizing with demonstrators while also appealing for calm.
“For that one or two percent of the protesters who think that (violence) is the way to make a statement, do not do a disservice to the memory of George Floyd (and) the folks who have died at the hands of the brutality that we all stand against,'' Garcetti said.
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Earlier Saturday, Moore said that all restrictions had been lifted in the downtown area, as he also appealed for calm.
“While more protests are slated for various locations throughout the city today, we remain hopeful those demonstrations will be peaceful,'' Moore said in a series of tweets sent shortly before noon Saturday. “I am asking for all of Los Angeles to come together and find the ability to peacefully express individual and collective grievances while also maintaining the safety of all of Angelenos,” he said, adding that the LAPD will be deploying additional resources to maintain order.
Photo: Getty Images
Moore said 533 people were arrested overnight on charges that include burglary, looting, probation violation, battery on a police officer, attempted murder and failure to disperse. All but 18 have been released.
“Six Los Angeles Police Officers were injured during the protests on Friday night and early Saturday morning,” Moore tweeted. “They sustained non-life-threatening injuries ranging from lacerations to impact wounds."
Saturday's events began at noon, as Black Lives Matter Los Angeles held a rally at Pan Pacific Park. Another protest, hosted by the Coalition for Community Control Over the Police, happened at 1 p.m. outside LAPD's Southeast Station, 145 W 108th St. and included a march to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office at 1310 W. Imperial Highway. At 3 p.m., a demonstration was 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.”