LAPD cars set on fire near the Grove amid violent clashes between police, protesters in Fairfax District
A tense standoff between police and protesters marking the killing of George Floyd was underway in the Fairfax District after demonstrators set several LAPD cruisers on fire.
The group marched past the Grove and Farmers Market. At one point, some people tagged a Metro bus with graffiti along with some walls of the Grove. Some demonstrators stood on top of Du-pars restaurant holding banners.
Hundreds were now stalled at 3rd Street just west of Fairfax Avenue, blocked by a row of LAPD officers. Some protesters vandalized police cars, including breaking windows and tagging. The LAPD issued an unlawful assembly order and told protesters to leave.
On Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, a group of protesters clashed with police, throwing debris at them and officers fired less-than-lethal weapons. The officers retreated from the intersection, and protesters marched down the street, some riding on top of trash dumpsters.
Some protesters tried to get into CBS Television City but were pushed back by security officers and police.
Protesters spray-painted “Cops and Klan go hand in hand” along on the side of a Citibank at Fairfax. Across the street, “Eat the Rich” was scrawled on the Writers Guild of America building.
People climbed up on the roof of the Farmers Market’s Starbucks Coffee, while nearby protesters held signs that read, “Abolish Cops.”
The Grove appeared to be untouched and some people walked through the outdoor mall as they headed away from the crowd.
A woman who gave her name as Tof came upon the protest after doing some shopping in the neighborhood. Looking down the street, she said peaceful protests hadn’t worked in the past. “There’s no wrong way to protest,” she said. “We would never do this if they weren’t killing us.”
Hopefully, with the afternoon’s destruction, “they will listen.”
Many in the group held their hands up, silently facing the officers. Loud bangs could be heard, prompting some in the crowd to run down 3rd street and into nearby alleys. Two protesters said they witnessed officers shooting what looked to be canisters into the ground.
Mayor Eric Garcetti condemned the burning of patrol cars at a press conference and urged protesters to leave the scene,
“There is no good that can come of it,” he said.
He announced a curfew for downtown tonight but said the new rules would not cover Fairfax or other parts of the city.
To the west, the Beverly Hills Police Department said protesters were now also in that city but few other details were available.
The large crowd at Pan Pacific Park off Beverly Boulevard chanted “defund police” and “prosecute killer cops” and waved signs at a rally organized by Black Lives Matter and social justice group BLD PWR.
The rally’s speakers called for fewer public dollars for police departments and for schools and prisons to be overhauled.
“We’re living in the middle of an uprising,” Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors told the group. “Let’s be clear: We are in an uprising for black life.”
Marsha Steinberg, 76, who described herself as a longtime activist, was among those who came out for the rally. “I was here for Rodney [King],” said Steinberg, who lives in the neighborhood. “Nothing has changed.”
“People have not had an outlet for justice,” Steinberg said, adding that new district attorneys need to be elected and prosecute cops accused of misconduct.
Isabel Alvardo waved a sign reading “Latinos for Black Lives Matter.”
Alvardo, 21, lives in Santa Clarita and drove to the L.A. rally because she is “sick and tired of waking up every morning” to news about police killings. “I can’t compare myself to what they’re going through,” she said of being black.“But I’m here to support them.”
By 2 p.m., more than 1,000 marchers made their way from Pan Pacific Park near The Grove shopping center and began marching west down 3rd Street toward Beverly Hills.
Police helicopters whirred overhead, while people standing on the sidewalks cheered on the marchers. Some marchers chanted “No Justice, No Peace!”
But overall the crowd was peaceful and there were no acts of violence or vandalism. Some bystanders even offered bottles of water to the marchers and motorists honked their support.
The protesters demonstrating against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis are part of a movement that has raged across the country in recent days, turning destructive in various cities. In downtown Los Angeles, the situation deteriorated into vandalism and looting later Friday evening.