Saturday, May 30, 2020
After hours of demonstrations that in at least one instance resulted in injuries, the Los Angeles police department declared Friday night that protests in Downtown inspired by the death of George Floyd are “an unlawful assembly.” LAPD has ordered businesses to close, residents to remain home, and demonstrators to disperse.
Citing what it called “repeated acts of violence & property damage,” LAPD said the zone affected by the order includes the bulk of Downtown Los Angeles, bordered by the 10 freeway in the south, the 101 freeway in the north, the 110 in the west, and Alameda street in the east.
Throughout the night, local news footage showed several scenes of demonstrators breaking windows, throwing dockless scooters into buildings, and various other forms of vandalism as LAPD deployed in large numbers near in central Downtown, close to city hall and LAPD headquarters.
We have declared an unlawful assembly throughout Downtown LA.
From the 10 Fwy to the 101 & the 110 Fwy to Alameda—This is being made following repeated acts of violence & property damage. Residents should stay inside—Business should close—Those on the street are to leave the area
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) May 30, 2020
The protests, which began around 5:30 p.m. local time, were largely peaceful during daylight hours, and as sunset approached, most protesters went home. Those who remained, according to local news reports, began engaging in acts of vandalism. Despite this, video footage showed peaceful demonstrators still outnumbered vandals by a considerable margin.
An early sign of escalation came shortly after 7:00 p.m. when protesters and police clashed in several sections of central downtown including the intersection of 5th and Olive. Elsewhere, protesters stopped traffic on the 101 freeway. According to the Los Angeles Times, at least two police officers were injured and several police cruisers damaged prior to the unlawful assembly declaration.
By 10:30 PM, most conflict between demonstrators and police appeared to be concentrated on Spring between 4th and 5th. In live footage, police established a line across Spring and appeared to be focused mainly on dispersing the crowd rather than making arrests though several people could be seen taken into custody and in some cases other demonstrators attempted to interrupt such arrests. At 10:45, police began deploying tear gas.
The demonstration was just one of dozens across the country inspired by several people who were killed by police officers in recent months, most notably George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who was killed on Memorial day. Floyd died after an officer pushed his knee into Floyd’s neck, constricting his breathing; in video captured by several bystanders, Floyd could be heard begging officers to let him breathe but otherwise not resisting. The officer has since been charged with several crimes including 3rd degree murder.
Minneapolis has seen protests for four nights in a row, with Thursday a particularly intense night as protesters took control of a police precinct and set it on fire. Meanwhile on Friday, demonstrators in Atlanta vandalized CNN headquarters, and in Louisville Kentucky police fired on news reporters during a live broadcast using guns that fired pepper balls.
Source: the wrap feed