Hundreds marched peacefully down Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles on Saturday to protest the killing of unarmed African American men by police, the latest in a series of demonstrations across the nation in recent weeks.
The march, called Blackout Hollywood, began about noon at Hollywood Boulevard and Argyle Avenue and continued west along Hollywood Boulevard to the TCL Chinese Theater.
Many demonstrators dressed in black clothing while others held both hands in the air and lay down on the pavement in protest. Some held signs and chanted refrains such as “black lives matter,” “hands up, don’t shoot" and other slogans that have become widespread in protests against recent cases in Staten Island, N.Y.; Ferguson, Mo.; and Los Angeles.
“We blacked out Hollywood for a couple of hours to bring awareness to the issues that are going on in America right now: police brutality, the lack of justice for Eric Garner, Michael Brown and the failure of our judicial system,” said Darnell Appling, 27, of North Hollywood, a television actor who organized the march.
The demonstrators blocked traffic, including the Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue intersection, where on Friday evening Los Angeles police officers shot and killed a man they said was armed with a pocketknife.
The march was planned over social media several days prior to that shooting, which took place in front of crowds of pedestrians and motorists in the popular tourist and shopping district. Police have not released the identity of the man killed in the officer-involved shooting, but described him as white and said he was a suspect in a report of an assault with a deadly weapon.
About 70 officers were on the scene Saturday afternoon to monitor demonstrators and facilitate the movement of the crowd, but they made no arrests, said Lt. Michael Ling of
Joseph Murphy, 50, took the bus and subway from Mid-City to Hollywood to voice his frustration over recent shootings by police and the grand jury decisions in Missouri and New York.
“Like most people I was here because I’ve been disturbed by all of these shootings,” he said. “We were here to show ourselves, to be counted, to say, yes, I’m here and I want to be heard.”