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Downtown LA Businesses Vandalized, Looted as Garcetti Announces National Guard on its Way



Protest March Against Police Violence| Downtown LA Businesses Vandalized, Looted as Garcetti Announces National Guard on its Way | Featured

Chaos overwhelmed downtown Los Angeles Saturday night, May 30, with scattered looting, a building set ablaze and fireworks illuminating the sky over Broadway during the fourth day of protests demanding justice for George Floyd – despite a curfew going into effect at 8 p.m. and Mayor Eric Garcetti saying the National Guard was on its way.

The National Guard will arrive overnight, Garcetti announced on Twitter shortly before 8 p.m. Gov. Gavin Newsom late Saturday night also declared a state of emergency for LA County.

The Guard's mission will be “to support our local response to maintain peace and safety on the streets of our city,” he said via Twitter.

Downtown had been quiet much of Saturday, with about 60 people gathering peacefully in front of the police station there, a day after demonstrations turned violent – marked by vandalism, looting and more than 500 arrests. But the calm came with a portent: As the demonstrators left Saturday afternoon, some warned that they'd return later in the night.

And so they have.

The demonstrators halted traffic, attempted to occupy freeways and clashed with police early in the evening.

As the downtown crowd grew around 6 p.m., the protesters headed for the 101 freeway. Multiple police vehicles slowly pushed their way through the crowd, making it to the ramp first.

One person smashed a police vehicle's window with a skateboard.

Police in riot gear also fired rubber bullets at protesters on Fourth and Hill streets, and at other points throughout the march.

Saturday marked the fourth consecutive day of marches in downtown Los Angeles over the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died while a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck. Cell phone footage captured the lethal encounter as Floyd could be heard pleading, “I can't breathe,” until he lost consciousnesses.

The demonstrations in Los Angeles hit a boiling point Friday evening when police and protesters clashed. Though many protesters argued for justice with chants and signs, others threw glass bottles, launched fireworks, set fires in city garbage cans and shattered windows – leading to looting in some shops.

That led Garcetti on Saturday afternoon to declare a curfew for the entire city of Los Angeles from 8 p.m. Saturday to 5:30 a.m. Sunday. The curfew had originally covered just the downtown area, but was later extended citywide.

“We've seen those shadows in the past; don't bring them back,” Garcetti said, referring to the 1992 Los Angeles riots that followed the acquittal of four LAPD officers accused of excessive force and assault in the arrest of Rodney King. “We will use law to re-establish your liberty, to save lives, but we cannot do that when folks are lighting fires, shooting at our officers, throwing projectiles, and escalating things.”

Despite Garcetti's attempt to calm things, downtown became a hot spot of chaos hours later.

Several people hurled parking signs, cones, and scooters onto the road on Sixth and Flower streets in attempt to cutoff traffic.

After several hours of police meeting protesters with barrages of rubber bullets, the crowds had waned from hundreds to dozens. Those that remained during the curfew faced down police and spray painted anti-police messages along buildings.

Saturday's worsened as the sun went down, with looting on Broadway and other streets. Around 9:30 p.m., a large fire was burning on Melrose Avenue. The building, on the 7600 block of West Melrose Avenue and believed to be a shoe/apparel store, became now engulfed in flames. Firefighters were battling the blaze.

There were also multiple trash can fires throughout downtown.

Looters and vandals also broke into luxury stores in Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive, and in department and retail stores at the Grove and in the Fairfax district area of LA.

On Broadway, in downtown LA, multiple business – several jewelry stores – were looted. Around 9 p.m., people could be seen ducking under a security gate to get in and out of a store – as fire trucks drove by on the street, sirens blaring.

Around 9:45 p.m. Saturday, LAPD officers formed a line and pushed people back along Third Street at Broadway, where a T-Mobile had just been looted.

A block over, on Fourth Street and Broadway, police walked about a dozen detained people – their wrists bound with zip ties – to a white van,

The demonstrations – both peaceful and violent – have swept the nation this week, with thousands of protesters demanding justice for Floyd and expressing anger toward their own experiences of police violence.

Protesters burned businesses in Minneapolis. They smashed police cars and windows in Atlanta, broke into police headquarters in Portland, Oregon, and chanted curses at President Donald Trump outside the White House. The National Guard has been activated in some cities.

Protesters have marched through the streets of Los Angeles each evening since Wednesday. The demonstrations were largely peaceful until late Friday night in Downtown L.A.

Businesses were looted, police vehicles attacked and scores of arrests were made in Downtown Los Angeles after Friday's demonstrations. Demonstrations that started out large and loud but peaceful dissolved into chaos late in the evening and an army of LAPD officers spent the night and early morning responding to scattered violence all over downtown.

Officials said 533 people were arrested overnight on charges that include burglary, looting, probation violation, battery on a police officer, attempt murder and failure to disperse. All but 18 have been released.

“Six Los Angeles Police Officers were injured during the protests on Friday night and early Saturday morning,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore tweeted. “They sustained non-life-threatening injuries ranging from lacerations to impact wounds.”

Police worked through Saturday morning to disperse groups who broke store windows, set fires and roamed the downtown streets cordoned off by hundreds of police officers and dozens of their vehicles. More than 500 arrests were made, according to reports.

The Target store at Seventh and Figueroa streets, a Rite Aid store at 7th and Hope streets, along with the 6th Street Market and the Starbucks on Sixth Street between Broadway and Main Street and jewelry stores near Sixth Street and Broadway were among the businesses looted just before midnight Friday.

What had begun as a group of about 70 protesters walking along streets and doing sit-ins at downtown intersections amid traffic devolved later in the evening into violent confrontations with police officers.

By 9:30 p.m., LAPD declared an unlawful assembly in the area, ordering everyone in the streets to immediately leave the area and urging residents to stay inside and businesses to close. Crowds also repeatedly blocked nearby freeways.

Demonstrators marched, stopped traffic and in some cases lashed out violently at police in dozens of other U.S. cities, too.

Fires burned unchecked and thousands of protesters ignored a curfew as unrest overwhelmed authorities for another night in Minneapolis, and the governor acknowledged Saturday that he didn't have enough manpower to contain the chaos.

The new round of tumult – which has also spread to other cities – came despite Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz vowing Friday to show a more forceful response than city leaders had the day before. But by early Saturday morning, Walz said he didn't have enough troops, even with some 500 National Guardsmen.

“We do not have the numbers,” Walz said. “We cannot arrest people when we are trying to hold ground.”

Georgia's governor declared a state of emergency in one county to activate up to 500 members of the state National Guard “to protect people & property in Atlanta.” Gov. Brian Kemp said in a pair of tweets early Saturday that the move came at the request of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and in consultation with emergency officials. The Georgia National Guard will deploy “immediately” to assist law enforcement, he said.

In Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, Oakland and beyond, thousands of protesters carried signs that said: “He said I can't breathe. Justice for George.” They chanted “”No justice, no peace” and “Say his name. George Floyd.”

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.

© Copyright © 2020 Pasadena Star-News

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  • Det1967 says:

    What have we gained with all this violence. What would George do? (WWGD!!

    • Louis says:

      The majority of these riots have nothing to do with George Floyd, no matter what the chant. People who cared about him, or what happened to him would not be destroying innocent people & their property. The destruction is being done by people who are as bad as the policeman.

  • Nancy says:

    This kind of response is ‘Totally unacceptable’! Stop this unbelievable activity! Protest, ok…but stop doing damages. That takes away from your protesting to, people ignoring where you stand!
    You create a hate & destruction attitude, which angers the entire process! Protest & not destruction! !

  • lorene says:

    this is just an excuse to loot and steal and destroy america socialism at work wake up america or you will be doomed

    • Wyatt says:

      Wow I have to agree with you Lorene . And I think it is all planned by paid agitators instigating and urging the normally peaceful ones on .

  • Stephen Russell says:

    After Mayor refused to call in NG?? & we suffer.
    Sue Mayor for damages & business losses His policies caused this

    • Don says:

      Oh, he did finally call them in, expecting them to be on site within 4 hours or so. No, not gonna happen. It takes at least 24 hours to activate the NG. Everyone has to be contacted, then report to their armory. Gear has to be issued, signed for, weapons checked out, ammo distributed, the command staff has to finalize operations orders, issue rules of engagement, order of march, etc.
      Yeah, I know, I was part of the command staff in 1992 when activated for the riots in LA. Plus, the request has to go through the governor.

  • Billy Wilson says:

    This because of his contuning his lock down, now he will want federal aid to over come his stupidy , Trying to follow socialist dogma . He is in trouble now wants the rest of the country to cover this ,just like New York And other Democratic run states.

  • CaptTurbo says:

    Choot ’em!

  • Keith says:

    We are witnessing the end of this generation, read People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy. 2 Timothy 3:2 We can see the end is near and most will take the mark. Our country could never be destroyed from without. But not is being destroyed from within, with people listening to very evil people like the Democratic party and George Soros. So welcome to HELL to those who are Killing, Burning and Stealing.

  • Mikial says:

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer city. They wanted the Liberals to be in charge, and they got what they wanted.

  • CharlieSeattle says:

    Everyone HAS to know the politically compromised FBI has infiltrated ANTIFA and BLM for over 3-1/4 years at the very least.

    But was it to track them or………manage them?

    No arrests.
    Do the math.

  • Curry says:

    Blue cities in blue States. Rioting. Violence. Absolutely unnecessary.
    It continues because the mayors and governors do not have the balls to hold a news conference and say, simply, “You loot, we shoot”; then walk away from the media which is giving the rioters, er, sorry, “Demonstrators”, excuses to do more damage.
    This is most certainly not Dr. King’s dream!

  • Starlet says:

    Do you think anything would have been done, if this was not recorded? The police would have just said he resisted arrest we killed him out of fear for our lives. Then they probably went home or on break. Just another day for them. Hmm.
    Was anything being done about the continuous problems before the riots?

  • Ramon S Ramsey says:

    Some of the comments I’ve heard here sound like the IGNORANT RESPONSES of our so called FRAUD OF A PRESIDENT! OBVIOUSLY no peaceful upstanding citizen will condone willful DESTRUCTION and LOOTING, at the same time UNWARRANTED EXTREME and DEADLY FORCE USED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT RESULTING IN REAPETED UNPROSECUTED DEATHS ON CAMERA OF PEOPLE OF COLOR CANNOT AND WILL NOT CONTINUE TO BE TOLERATED ! So to all you so called closet supposed to be NON- RACIST, FASCISTS if you’re TRUE to yourselves and have any shred of HUMANITY you will agree these UNLAWFUL CRIMES and SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES MUST STOP NOW ! BLACK LIVES MATTER !

    • Ramon S Ramsey says:


  • Dr j says:

    Black, white, purple law breakers and thrives are crooks and blooming terrerrorists and decent Americans deserve to have criminals punished and decent Americans must help to control law breakers and must stay out of the way of law enforcers who are risking their lives in the doing of their jobs. Black or white or purple: Investigate and incarcerate bad law enforcement persons and rioters and crime committers and picturetakers; and stop embarrassing America and committing crimes against local families. Criminals deserve to be STOPPED IMMEDIATELY. They ought to expect to be shot and no glory!! And no applause and nothing good for the family they are distracting! What’s their point, except to dishonor themselves and their’cause’. They send out terrible messages and are deserving of arrest and silently being shot for their crimes. Protect those working for peace and shot the rest. Black or white or purple!

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