Over 1,000 protesters converge on Hollywood, are met by police
(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)
More than 1,000 protesters gathered at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street late Tuesday morning to decry the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.
After a few minutes, the group began walking through the streets of Hollywood, where they approached a line of several dozen police officers holding batons. The officers appeared to be blocking the crowd’s advance.
“Let us walk,” the crowd yelled. Chants of “I can’t breathe” and “No justice, no peace” echoed throughout.
Protesters in Southern California are a mix of ages and races, fueled by anger at George Floyd’s death and at inequality laid bare by a pandemic.
Aijshia Moody, 30, was among the crowd and held up a cardboard sign that read, “Am I next?”
Her brother is 14 years old and has often dealt with racial profiling in Pacoima where they live, she said.“He can’t even get on his skateboard,” she said, adding that she’s dealt with racism throughout her life. “That’s why I’m here.”
Los Angeles Police Department officers were out in force as the crowd grew.
On Monday, peaceful protests in Hollywood were marred by scattered looting by people not associated with the core march, officials said. Police swarmed the tourist district and made more than 100 arrests in a sweep that lasted well into the night.
On Tuesday, protesters returned. The crowd marched down McCadden Place, holding signs that read, “Amerikkka is looted land,” “Stop the war on black Americans” and “Latinos for black lives.” Cars blocked in by the action honked in solidarity.
Among the protesters was Carlos Vellanoweth from Whittier.
“I feel like there needs to be change,” said the 15-year-old. The teen, who said he’d marched in downtown L.A. earlier this week with his parents, held a sign that read, “#Mexicanos for black lives. They matter!”
“It’s 2020 and black people are still being oppressed. We need to stop discriminating against one another,” he said.
Get live updates from Los Angeles Times journalists as they report on protests across the U.S. after the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
Jadda Smith, 18, joined the crowd around noon. She came with her cousin and a friend.
“I’m a black individual. I came out here to support myself and my people,” she said. “We’ve been getting killed every day by police officers nonstop without justice.”
Her cousin Marrisha Brown marched beside her with a sign that read “Black lives matter” and included the names of George Floyd and Sandra Bland, a black woman who died in police custody in Texas in 2016, along with dozens of others.
“It just sucks to see our people continue to go through this,” said Brown, 19. “It doesn’t make sense that we have to have a march to try and bring some peace and try and see some justice.”
Pete White, who lives in South L.A. and founded the Los Angeles Community Action Network, stopped in front of the Chase bank on Vine Street to snap a photo of a scrawled message: “Chase yo dreams.”
Nearby, Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” and N.W.A’s “F— tha police” blasted from someone’s speaker.
“State violence brings me out here today,” said White, who turned 49 Tuesday. “We see the signs that say, ‘Justice for George Floyd,’ but also when you see the kaleidoscope of faces, it’s justice for immigrants, it’s justice in thinking that housing is a human right.
“A lot of people are talking about peace, but there’s no peace without justice,” the community organizer said. “How do you get justice? ... We don’t need another commission, another study or implicit-bias training. We’ve been there, and the same thing keeps happening — again and again.”
Protesters urged the police to “walk with us,” but officers could be heard shouting, “Hold your line.”
Someone put a white flower in the pocket of an LAPD officer, but he tossed it onto the ground.
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