Sky Lit Up in Tribute to George Floyd, Protesters Arrested in Downtown L.A.


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After a day of mostly peaceful protests on Wednesday, police say those protesters who remained in Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles amid a curfew order for Los Angeles County have been taken into custody for curfew violations.

A curfew for Los Angeles County went into effect at 9 p.m. Wednesday night, even as protesters remained seated within the park grounds. After police declared an unlawful assembly at 10 p.m., several protesters were taken into custody.

Protests over police brutality and the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he was in custody, have erupted across the nation.

At 9 p.m. when the curfew went into effect, residents across the region used their cell phones to light up the night sky, honoring Floyd. Several other landmarks across the region were also lit in honor of Floyd, including Dodger Stadium and the Dream Center, which lit up for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

An estimated 10,000 protesters took to the streets in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday to decry police brutality.

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Earlier on Wednesday, hundreds of protesters milled around outside City Hall, but they later moved around the corner to the office of District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who has been challenged by Black Lives Matters activists for what they see as her failure to prosecute police officers accused of misconduct.

During an appearance on ABC7 Wednesday afternoon, Lacey defended her office's record on police, saying that under her leadership, they have "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.''

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The protest in downtown Los Angeles was not the only one on Wednesday. Hundreds of people also gathered at Santa Monica and La Cienega boulevards in West Hollywood, as part of a rally organized by the LGBTQ community in support of Black Lives Matter.

The crowd, which eventually grew to more than 1,000 people, saw protesters on sidewalks on all four corners of the intersection, holding signs and flags in support of the movement. The group eventually marched to Robertson Boulevard and back, then moved toward the heart of Hollywood using a circular route.

At one point during the march, hundreds of protesters lay down on the streets while holding for several minutes of silence.

The group later split, with some moving back into West Hollywood, while hundreds more walked south to Mayor Eric Garcetti's official residents in Hancock Park where another rally was held.

More protests were held around the region with around 300 people - joined by police officers and city officials from La Verne - showed for another march and rally. Another march was held in Downey.

Two protests were held in Long Beach in conjunction with one in Warner Center. Several dozen protesters also gathered peacefully in front of the South Bay Galleria.

Most of the marches and rallies were largely peaceful. However, during one gathering in Newport Beach Wednesday afternoon, the driver of a Mini Cooper reportedly drove through a crowd of protesters who were walking in the westbound lanes of Balboa Boulevard at around 4:30 p.m.

However, police say there was "no contact" between the Mini Cooper and the protesters. The driver of the vehicle was later located and detained.

A second incident at another march saw a suspect pulling a gun on a protester near the intersection of 30th Street and Newport Boulevard at around 3:20 p.m. According to police, the suspect and the protester got into a verbal argument, and the suspect pulled a gun from his backpack. The suspect fled shortly after the confrontation.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is being asked to contact Detective Rich Henry at 949-644-3797.

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Photos: Getty Images


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