Thousands of people again took to the streets of Los Angeles and Orange counties today, as at least 30 protests were scheduled to call for justice and condemn police tactics for the deaths of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis, and Breonna Taylor, who was killed during a police raid of her apartment in Louisville.
Large, peaceful marches were being held in Hollywood, near the USC campus, in San Pedro and on the west side of Los Angeles, while an array of gatherings were scheduled in Orange County as well.
With thousands marching in downtown L.A., Long Beach and Hollywood, LA Metro officials cautioned riders to expect rolling bus detours and possible delays around those areas Saturday. In West Hollywood, meanwhile, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials blocked off several streets through Monday morning to accommodate protesters. Events began at 8 a.m. with a protest at Los Angeles City Hall and were scheduled to run as late as a 5 p.m. candlelight service at La Palma Avenue and Beach Boulevard in Buena Park.
Organizers at many of the events asked protesters to wear face coverings and observe social distancing to guard against further spread of the coronavirus.
On Friday, thousands of residents gathered for rallies at the Venice Pier, Los Angeles City Hall, LAPD headquarters, in West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Northridge and Santa Monica. There were no reports of violence or confrontations with police. In Lakewood, however, deputies used tear gas on a large group of protesters outside Lakewood City Hall sometime before 4 p.m.
Sheriff's Lt. Michael Shaw said an unlawful assembly was declared due to some people in the group allegedly throwing objects at deputies. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Lakewood Mayor Todd Rogers wrote on his Facebook page that “deputies deployed pepper ball rounds and inert smoke adjacent to the suspects they identified as assaultive and it eventually succeeded in dispersing the crowd. One suspect was arrested. I am told that no tear gas was used.” Rogers also wrote that he was “not reporting from an eyewitness account, as a critical family matter required that I be at another location at the time the incident occurred'' and was relying on “information I have been able to piece together.”
Beginning early Friday morning in downtown Los Angeles, a drive-up protest was held, sponsored by Justice L.A. Organizers encouraged residents to drop off roses -- both real and paper -- at the Hall of Justice, 211 W. Temple St. The demonstration was held in memory of 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.
Hundreds of people also took part in a march from Long Beach City College to Lakewood, where protesters collectively sat in a street, peacefully holding signs and listening to a series of speakers. About 100 protesters gathered again in Santa Clarita early Friday afternoon, a smaller version of a peaceful gathering that took place in the same location Thursday.
Photos: Getty Images