Hundreds marched the streets of Los Angeles in response to the death of George Floyd, who died while being detained by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The marchers could be heard chanting “Black lives matter!” as they stood outside of the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown L.A. Several protesters held signs about Floyd, systemic racism and police officers who have been involved in highly publicized deaths of black citizens.
Happening now: outside of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles, where prisoners on the inside are banging along to a “black lives matter” chant on the outside. pic.twitter.com/CvwIejG6P0
— Human Rights Watch Watcher (@queeralamode) May 28, 2020
Some protesters made their way onto the 101 South Freeway, according to NBCLA, and video footage shows the protesters surrounding CHP vehicles. At one point in the video, protesters sat on one of the vehicle’s hoods as it kept moving forward, with one protester falling to the ground as the police cruiser drove away.
Another angle shows debris being thrown toward one of the cruisers, breaking the back window while others banged on the driver’s side window.
Video: During Black Lives Matter protest on the 101 Freeway, a CHP cruiser tries to pull through the crowd before accelerating with people on the hood. https://t.co/LChcoUzGJ3 pic.twitter.com/Sfgpl6QKrR
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) May 28, 2020
Multiple attendees of the protest — which was organized by the L.A. chapter of Black Lives Matter but apparently not officially approved by authorities — have said on social media that the event was mostly “peaceful” despite the incidents.
LAPD has responded to the protest, saying:
“Earlier we saw people on the streets of downtown L.A., at times going onto the 101 freeway, to protest the death of George Floyd. We hear your anger & your pain. We will always facilitate freedom of speech. Period. All we ask is that protests are held in a safe & legal manner.”
The incident that sparked protests in both Minneapolis and Los Angeles took place Monday, May 25, as several minutes of video footage surfaced of Mr. Floyd on the ground with an officer pressing his knee onto Floyd’s neck. In the video footage, Floyd can be heard repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.”
Floyd then appeared unresponsive, later being pronounced dead at 9:25 p.m. at Hennepin County Medical Center.
“The lack of compassion, use of excessive force, or going beyond the scope of the law, doesn’t just tarnish our badge — it tears the very fabric of race relations in this country,” LAPD said in a statement about the Minneapolis incident. “I can assure you the LAPD strives each day to build trust and these events are sobering reminders of how quickly that can be lost.”