Protest against police killings draws crowds to Fairfax area

Fairfax-area protest against police killings is peaceful

Protesters angry at the police killings of unarmed black men marched through the Fairfax area on the same day a funeral was held in New York City for a police officer gunned down by a man also upset about the killings.

Some wore T-shirts that said “I can’t breathe,” a reference to the last words of Eric Garner, who died after a New York City police officer put him in a chokehold.

At times, protesters raised their hands in a “Don’t shoot” gesture that arose out of Michael Brown’s fatal shooting by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. They held signs proclaiming that “Black Lives Matter” and demanding justice for Ezell Ford, a mentally ill man gunned down by LAPD officers in South L.A. days after Brown’s killing.

Estimates of the crowd's size ranged from a few hundred to several thousand. The event, called “Millions March Los Angeles,"  started at Pan Pacific Park at 2 p.m. and wound through streets near the Grove shopping center and the L.A. County Museum of Art. It was one more in a string of nationwide protests that have sometimes become violent.

In Los Angeles following the Nov. 24 announcement that the officer who killed Brown would not be indicted, protesters shut down freeways, and hundreds were arrested.

Saturday's march was peaceful, and there were no arrests, said Sgt. Alex Chogyoji of the LAPD’s Wilshire station.

Vice President Joe Biden was among the speakers at the funeral Saturday of NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos, who was shot to death with his partner, Wenjian Liu, as the two sat in their patrol car. The shooter, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had invoked Garner's name in online anti-police rants in the weeks leading up to the ambush.

cindy.chang@latimes.com
Twitter: @cindychangLA

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