Minneapolis killing sparks nationwide protests

| July 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

JUNE 2, 2020 at Getty House, the official residence of the Mayor of Los Angeles in Windsor Square, where hundreds of Black Lives Matter protestors peacefully demonstrated on the sidewalks and in the street.

A video of the brutal killing of a 46-year-old Black man by a white Minneapolis police officer on May 25 sparked nationwide peaceful protest that was accompanied in some places by violent crime from riotous mobs vandalizing and looting, especially on the weekend of May 30 and 31. In the subsequent days of June, hundreds of thousands of concerned people have continued to march in numerous peaceful protests across the nation in support of Black lives.

Say his name

BLENDS sneaker store on Larchmont, morning of May 31.

George Perry Floyd Jr. was a tall man, 6 feet 6 inches, who had moved from Houston to work in Minneapolis and who was recovering from the coronavirus at the time he was killed. Knowingly or unknowingly, Floyd allegedly presented a counterfeit $20 bill at Cup Foods, a neighborhood market in Minneapolis, on Memorial Day, May 25. Police were called. Floyd was arrested and brutally restrained, including by a police officer who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck on the ground for more than eight minutes while Floyd said he could not breathe. George Floyd died. That officer and the three officers in attendance or assisting have been arrested and criminally charged with various degrees of murder and aiding and abetting murder.

BROKEN GLASS DOOR at Mo:Vint on Larchmont, May 31.

The ensuing protest demonstrations have focused on that crime against George Floyd and on many other reported instances of racism in policing and racism elsewhere throughout the country and the world. Protestors say they are trying to bring attention to systemic racism they say is prevalent in society and social institutions beyond what is within police departments. Local organizers and leaders of the protest marches in Los Angeles have included Black Lives Matter – Los Angeles.

On the May 30-31 weekend, sometimes in close proximity to the vast majority of peaceful protestors, mostly unaffiliated mobs of criminals rioted and took advantage of the situation to vandalize property, break into commercial buildings, burglarize the contents, set arson fires, and in some instances physically assault people trying to defend the property or objecting to the vandalism.


LARCHMONT Rite-Aid pharmacy, May 31 after burglary.

Following the combination of peaceful protests and violent criminality on May 30 and 31, curfews were enacted throughout Los Angeles County for various times, even starting in the afternoon (for example, 1 p.m. on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills). Also, and just as happened during the 1992 Los Angeles riots following the Rodney King verdict, the California National Guard was mobilized, and its presence was very visible in shopping districts around the county, including on Larchmont Boulevard.

At some protest marches that started peacefully and were largely orderly, authorities nevertheless declared unlawful assemblies at some points. Police ordered assembled people to disperse and to leave the areas. Whenever that did not happen, or in situations where protesters did not observe a curfew, arrests were made throughout the county. Also, some of the looters were arrested, but not many initially. Detectives are still seeking to identify and arrest those alleged criminals.

Almost everyone arrested for failure to disperse or for violating the curfew was released within hours or overnight, and local prosecutors District Attorney Jackie Lacey and City Attorney Michael Feuer decided not to pursue prosecution.

Clean-up volunteers

As early as the morning after the Saturday, May 30 violence, concerned neighbors from throughout the surrounding community, including families with children, brought their brooms and cleaning equipment to help repair the damage done to small neighborhood businesses, synagogues and other institutions. Such citizen volunteerism also was in evidence after the 1992 vandalism and looting.

STORES WERE BOARDED UP on Larchmont Boulevard for many days in early June.

For example, by late Sunday May 31, all of the graffiti and broken windows on the Third Street side of the Original Farmers Market had been removed or repaired by market staff and volunteers. However, evidence of damaged businesses and boarded-up windows remained evident through mid-June along Fairfax, La Brea, Melrose and even Larchmont.

De-fund the police?

LOS ANGELES CHEDER / BAIS TZIVIA elementary school on La Brea and Waring avenues was marred with obscene and anarchist graffiti the afternoon of May 30.

On June 3, Mayor Eric Garcetti suggested that his in-process 2020-2021 City of Los Angeles budget should be revised to transfer some expenditures out of the Police Department and into city social services. Elected officials in San Francisco, Portland, Nashville, Denver and other cities across the nation are similarly reconsidering their budgets for police funding. On June 15, Black Lives Matter – Los Angeles leaders and others met with members of the Los Angeles City Council, in Council Chambers at City Hall, for two hours to present arguments for a different sort of city budget, the “People’s Budget,” and for “defunding the police.” Learn more at peoplesbudgetla.com. At press time, there had been no City of Los Angeles action on such budget revisions.

Throughout June, organizations and individuals across the country have been commenting in writing and on air on the issues of racism and the Black Lives Matter movement, and a selection of these comments appears in this Special Section.

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