There have been two consecutive nights of protests in downtown L.A. after the August 15 shooting of Anthony McClain in Pasadena and the August 23 shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Marchers made their way to Los Angeles City Hall and LAPD headquarters with chants to “defund the police” and “justice” for those involved in police shootings.
“At this point, it feels essential for everyone that supports the cause to make it to larger events like this, when possible,” Jacquelin Fink, who attended the protest, told L.A. Weekly. “Although I think showing support by physically uniting is important, I also think it’s important to do work behind that in response to these tragedies (like letter writing, petitions, town halls and actually meeting with elected officials).”
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On both Monday and Tuesday, LAPD and Sheriff’s deputies began to disperse the crowds for what they declared unlawful assemblies around midnight. As law enforcement officials pushed the crowd with what appeared to be a gas agent and riot gear at hand, there have not been reports of arrests or injuries during the protests.
“I worry every time the cops or counter-protesters show up because it often turns violent,” Fink said.
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The Pasadena shooting and killing of Anthony McClain occurred after police pulled over a car for a traffic violation, according to Pasadena Star News.
Edited and narrated police camera footage showed parts of the incident. In the video, the Pasadena Police Department said that before McClain ran for police, he reached for his hip with what appeared to be a gun. The footage circled McClain’s hand near his torso area.
“The natural swinging movement of the individual’s arm while running revealed what both officers immediately recognized as a firearm in his left hand,” the video described.
When McClain looked back at the officers, one of the officers shot two rounds, the fatal one hitting his torso. McClain was pronounced dead at 9:46 p.m. at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena.
Nearby neighbor footage showed McClain running from a different angle and a witness claimed they saw him toss his gun across the street.
A gun was allegedly retrieved by police on the street with multiple modifications made from different manufacturer parts.
The edited footage was called “propaganda” by attorney Caree Harper, who is representing McClain’s family. She added that the edited footage stops after the shots were fired.
Protests have also occurred at Pasadena City Hall and on Tuesday there were four officers hurt after allegedly having objects thrown at them. None were hospitalized.
The other police shooting that was being protested did not occur in the Los Angeles area, but has gained national attention after Jacob Blake was filmed being shot from behind several times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Blake was not killed by the shooting, but attorney Ben Crump confirmed that he was paralyzed from the waist down. Crump also said Wednesday that Blake did not have a weapon in his car.
LIVE NOW: Press conference regarding Jacob Blake’s shooting. https://t.co/zv3t9GM4q5
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) August 25, 2020
Both Senator Kamala Harris and democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have called for an investigation into the shooting. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump did not respond to the incident itself, but publicly called for Wisconsin Governor Tony Evans to deploy the National Guard to “End Problem FAST!” in regards to protests.
As of Wednesday, Kenosha police have yet to make a statement or provide information on what led to the shooting.