Say Their Names - Los Angeles
On Wednesday may 27th we received news that a protest was taking place on the 101 with damage to two CHP cruisers and an individual who had fallen off the hood of one of the cruiser while speeding away.
It was a small but agitated group of people that had decided to march for the injustice of George Floyd.
This would be the start of (and til this day) an ongoing and historical movement with daily protest marches all over the country.
For the next couple of days the police responded with harsh methods which lead to a violent repsonse from the protesters. The media focus on the violence as well as the violence itself quickly dissipated as the conversations around Black Lives Matter and the systemic injustice was finally brought up to the surface.
Though, with police forces all across the country responding to peaceful protests with pepperspray, rubber bullets, billy clubs, and aggression Mayor Garcetti decided to fully withdraw the LAPD police presence as well as the National Guard.
The protest were now allowed to stay as peaceful as they were intended. And with that, people showed up in historical numbers.
After two days of turbulent protest and two nights of violent lootings Los Angeles woke up to a new reality.
The National Guard had been deployed and Angelinos could now witness guards placed on street corners with humvees and dark green military trucks zipping around downtown.
The LAPD came dressed in heavy riot gear. Exhausted, nervous, and not sure what to do next. City officials had seen harsh consequences when police displayed a "law and order" approach. The protests had showed tendencies to grow violent. When the police was more withdrawn, the protest were completely peaceful.
The protesters started to gather again. They were given room, they were given space, and they were given an opportunity to peacefully send the message they initially came for.
It became a peaceful Sunday. The police and Military presence was overwhelming but calm. It was the day that came to shape a dialogue with Mayor Garcetti and the use of LAPD moving forward.
The mindset, approach, and size of the LAPD had drastically changed from a few days before. The protests in West Hollywood were again very calm, peaceful, and full of hope.
The LAPD decided to attend the protest by marching in the back of the crowd and leave the heavy gear outside of the marches.
However, a few hours later a large group of people had gathered downtown Los Angeles outside City Hall, the Courthouse, and the DA Office of Jackie Lacey to demand her resignation. The local Sheriffs department had together with the National Guard created barricade of officers dressed in riot gear around every building forcing the large group of protesters to squeeze tightly together. The intense police presence tightened the atmosphere to unessecary levels. Luckily, it was a aggitated crowd with peaceful intentions and it stayed that way the entire day.