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CA Governor Newsom Declares State of Emergency



Smoke Rises over the Fairfax District of Los Angeles | CA Governor Newsom Declares State of Emergency | Featured

California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles County. This came following days of destruction in the city. Though LA is one of the hardest hit, cities and towns across the state have been rocked by violent manifestations.

Memories of 1992

The protests taking place in Los Angeles, marred by episodes of arson, looting, and wanton destruction, remind residents of the riots that took place in the city nearly 30 years ago.

In 1992, riots descended on LA in response to the beating of Rodney King. King, an unarmed motorist. A group of police officers beat up King while he lay on the ground. The apparent cruelty and needless force struck a familiar tone for the city when George Floyd’s arrest video surfaced.

Both today and in 1992, peaceful protests have been derailed by a small minority of agitators. Looters, arsonists, and those seeking to harm police have hijacked the protests, bringing the city of Los Angeles to a standstill. Similar to the events in 1992, the authorities also called for the National Guard to restore order.

Law Enforcement Steps Up

On Sunday, Governor Newsome declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles, authorizing the city’s request for the national guard. On Tuesday, he did the same in Sacramento. There are thousands of National Guard troops deployed across the state, and local law enforcement has increased its presence to quell potential riots.

The LAPD has employed a more active approach to keeping order.
“When violence escalates, including assaults on officers, arson, widespread looting … the department needs to resort to a stronger message,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said on Tuesday.

Assistant Chief Robert Arcos confirmed the sentiment, saying, “We are not going to stand for looting. We are doing all we can to make arrests immediately.”

California Cities Shut Down Public Offices

On Monday, The California Department of Human Resources instructed all state buildings with “offices in downtown city areas” to remain shut down.”

California Government Operations Agency spokeswoman Amy Palmer told media, “After consultation with the California Highway Patrol and Office of Emergency Services, the decision was made this evening to advise all state departments with offices in downtown city areas to close tomorrow, and to notify staff of the decision.”

Tuesday Night Shows Signs of Calm

To Californians’ relief,  increased law enforcement presence, and strict curfew, and calls by Floyd’s family for peace seem to be taking effect. In California and elsewhere, Tuesday night offered a much-needed respite from the chaos. Protests continued, but ended more peacefully than previous days.

In Los Angeles, police knelt in solidarity with protesters, largely comprised of church groups. Reverend K.W. Tullos, president of the Baptist Ministers Conference, said of the moment, “We cannot allow this moment to go by without all of you understanding that we are here in the spirit of George Floyd.”

In a change of tone, the LAPD released an encouraging statement praising the mostly peaceful protests: “This afternoon we saw the best of Los Angeles. Thousands of peaceful demonstrators marched in solidarity. We will continue to facilitate everyone’s 1st Amendment right to assemble peacefully. We will continue to listen, learn, and grow.”

“This whole thing is pulling at the heartstrings. This is the way these things should be done… I’m very proud of this community today,” LAPD Captain Brian Morrison also said during a march in Westside Beach.

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