LAPD makes several arrests as police cruisers burn in 4th straight day of protests – San Gabriel Valley Tribune | #schoolshooting

The Los Angeles Police Department made several arrests Saturday afternoon, May 30, after declaring an unlawful assembly in the Fairfax District, where thousands of protesters assembled; some set cruisers on fire, while others vandalized and smashed the windows of nearby police vehicles.

Officers sprayed tear gas and shot beanbags and rubber bullets into the crowd after threatening to arrest the thousands of demonstrators who had gathered to demand justice for George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer kneeled on his neck in Minnesota.

Several people, including rapper Jane Chika Oranika — known professionally as CHIKA — were detained at the scene.

As the day wore on, some demonstrators began looting businesses along Fairfax Avenue.

Protester D.J. Washington said he came out because he was sick of the racism he experiences as a black business owner in the San Fernando Valley.

“I consider this a step toward more attention,” Washington said, “but it’s not progress until you stop seeing these dudes right here who want to beat people up,” he said of police officers.

LAPD Sgt. Jorge Rodriguez said police expected a certain amount of damage.

“Of course we try to talk to protesters and not use force immediately,” Rodriguez said, “but at a certain point, you have to do something.”

Early in the afternoon, the protesters shut down traffic at the intersection; they were met with a couple dozen Los Angeles Police Officers blocking further access on Third Street.

“This is frustration after years of tensions between police and civilians,” said Rashad Marshall, a 24-year-old Long Beach resident said as he protested in West Hollywood with his beagle, Lilo.

“Our officers across the country need to be briefed,” Marshall added, “on how to handle situations better.”

During the protest, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced an 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. curfew in the city.

“If you love the city,” he said during an afternoon briefing, “go home, and come back, and we can peacefully protest.”

Saturday’s protest came a day after the most chaotic night yet in the string of demonstrations in Los Angeles; the local community was still reeling from looting, fires and violence that broke out Friday evening.

A peaceful beginning

The demonstration started off peacefully in Pan Pacific Park shortly before noon, where hundreds of activists protested police brutality, carrying homemade signs that read, “Black Lives Matter” and “I can’t breathe.”

They chanted familiar mantras like, “No justice, no peace,” and, “Say their names.”

Andrew Masembe, a 35-year-old Burbank resident, said in Pan Pacific Park, before the march turned violent, that he felt the need to be a part of this chapter in history.

“You always think about these times in history and what you would do,” he said. “So faced with that, I decided to show up. It’s for black people to be heard. For so long, we been silent.”

Unrest in Los Angeles started Wednesday evening, May 27, when Black Lives Matter activists occupied the 101 Freeway in downtown. Protests continued on Thursday night, when the Los Angeles Police Department eventually labeled it an “unlawful assembly.”

And on Friday night, over 70 protesters returned to downtown, marching from City Hall to Spring Street.

The officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, was arrested on Friday. He was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Cleo Riley, a 17-year-old junior at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, said Floyd’s death is just one instance of police brutality caught on video. Police brutality needs to end, she said.

So she put together LA Students for Floyd, one of the activist groups that arrived at Pan Pacific Park. Although she and her group are young, as the “voice of the future,” she believes her voice is among the most vital.

“I wanted to give students a chance to have their voices heard,” Riley said.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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