‘I could have died too.’ Voices from the streets of L.A. as protests spread across the city

A woman raises a Black Lives Matter sign among a crowd of protesters outside the North Hollywood police station
Stevie Nelson, left, raises a Black Lives Matter sign among a crowd of protesters outside the North Hollywood police station Thursday.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Scores of protests against police brutality and the killing of George Floyd have spread across Southern California. Some grew into the thousands, others were smaller but no less passionate.

Here are a sample of the voices on the streets Saturday.


“We’re so tired of seeing the multiple, multiple, multiple, multiple killings, and it’s just become a cliche to hashtag that…. It almost loses something. No more hashtags. It has to be change, it has to be a lasting change.”


— Tonia Lovelace

“Hopefully we get to a place where kids live in a world that is accepting of everyone, and I think this movement is to create a better future for them.”

— Andrea Barrera

Culver City

“I’m tired. I’m tired of what’s going on. I’m tired of what’s happening in the world and I’m ready to take a stand, and I’m going to keep taking a stand…. I participated [in protests] when Trayvon Martin was killed,. When Mike Brown was killed, I marched and I protested; when Tamir Rice was killed, I marched and I protested, so I’ve been doing this for a long time.”

— Jai Kemp

“It’s time for a change.”

— William Collins

San Pedro


“We cannot continue to lock horns with the folks we are asking for justice from. At some point, we have to lock hands and have to sit at the table and have a conversation.”

— Cheyenne Bryant

“This is for the people who look like me and do not feel they are treated freely as others. We’re here to take a stand and say, ‘Enough is enough, black lives matter and that’s it.’ Can it be any more clearer?”

— Joseph “JoJo” Santiago


“People need to feel safe. There’s no reason you shouldn’t feel safe walking down the street, running, putting your hand in your pocket.”

— Johanna Moran

“I could have died too. This is louder than us black people being killed in the streets.”

— Elyse Williams

“I don’t want them to have to have the talk with their kids like black mothers have to today. With all the protests I’ve seen in the past, this is different. This is making a change.”

— Tina Pruitt

“I think we have to keep going until as many demands as possible are met. Yes, I think Trump should be out. But even if Biden is elected, we need to hold his feet to the fire. He’s not our savior. We’re our savior.”

— Jose Lagunas

Downtown L.A.

“Change needs to come from the top. The only way we get change is if we demand it.”

— Wendoline Vargas

“It was scarier to sit at home with myself and to feel like I was shirking my duty. That was more painful than worrying I’d get the coronavirus. This has gone on too long.”

— Emma Bates