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A peaceful protest, then looting, on Van Nuys Boulevard

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Peaceful protesters spent hours in Van Nuys demonstrating against the death in police hands of George Floyd, but that scene was marred by looting that occurred nearby.

From 7:30 a.m. into the afternoon, a large group of protesters peacefully demonstrated at Van Nuys Boulevard and Sylvan Street, chanting Floyd’s name and asking for justice. Several protesters said they didn’t want looters around.

The majority of the protesters who spent the day at the intersection left just before L.A. County’s 5 p.m. curfew. Some remained and were prepared to be arrested.

Dozens of California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles Police Department officers stood side by side along Van Nuys Boulevard, some holding different types of nonlethal force, including bean bag launchers.

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Eva Bandikian, the manager at Kovac’s Care Pharmacy, said looters broke the lock on the business and stole “everything,” including cash, the register, medicine and vitamins.

Bandikian watched from the store’s surveillance camera on a feed on her phone as about 10 young people stormed into the pharmacy.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with us,” she said. “They’re angry with the police and with the government.”

About two hours after the break-in, one of the looters walked back by the pharmacy, turned around and laughed, carrying a bag of stolen goods.

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KTTV-TV Channel 11 broadcast live an incident in which merchants defended their stores from looters, one carrying a gun. Police arrived and at first mistook the merchants for looters. Later, the poiice appeared to pull over a car and briefly detain a woman who didn’t appear to be involved.


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