Police and protesters clash in Hollywood after march on anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death
Los Angeles police and dozens of protesters clashed in Hollywood late Saturday on the first anniversary of the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman shot and killed by Louisville, Ky., police during a botched raid at her apartment.
Three officers were injured and 10 protesters were arrested, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. A protester also was injured by police. Nine businesses were damaged.
Video posted on social media showed police in riot gear in a tense standoff with protesters at Vine Street and Lexington Avenue about 9:30 p.m. At one point, officers could be seen firing projectiles toward protesters. At another, protesters climbed on the hood of a police cruiser and it accelerated, sending them to the ground. There were also reports of several incidents of vandalism at neighborhood businesses.
Ten people were arrested: five on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, two on suspicion of possessing a prohibited item, two on suspicion of unlawful assembly and one on suspicion of battery on a police officer, LAPD officials said.
The LAPD said one officer suffered a hand cut after being hit by a computer thrown by a protester, one suffered ear damage after a smoke grenade thrown by a protester detonated close by, and a third suffered a knee injury during a pursuit.
Police said the protest had begun about 8 p.m., and they accused those involved of coming to cause harm.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore on Sunday tweeted a link to a YouTube video of items being thrown at the officers, writing, “NO justification/excuse for this violence.”
Responding to that tweet, Capt. Steve Lurie, commander of the Hollywood Division, wrote that Hollywood officers were out Saturday “to ensure this group could express themselves under the umbrella of” the 1st Amendment, but the protesters “came to destroy Angelenos’ businesses and attack police officers.”
In a statement Sunday, the LAPD said the group was “dressed in all black clothing and was equipped with various weapons such as pepper spray, smoke grenades, metal batons, and brass knuckles.”
“They were also equipped with helmets, bullet-resistant vests, gas masks, and makeshift shields. Suspects within the group began to spray paint walls with graffiti, broke the windows to businesses, and ignited trash can fires,” the statement said.
The department said one protester “was treated for injuries sustained during a use of force” by police but did not describe the injuries or the force that was used. That protester was in custody Sunday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer. Police did not describe the alleged weapon used.
The march, which began as a peaceful demonstration, was one of dozens of rallies held across the country to mark the anniversary of Taylor’s killing.
The rally came a day after Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, filed a federal lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department, alleging his constitutional rights were violated during last year’s botched raid, news outlets reported. Walker last year filed a state lawsuit against the city and police, saying he was the victim of assault, battery, false arrest and malicious prosecution.
Taylor’s front door was breached by Louisville officers as part of a drug raid in the early morning of March 13, 2020. Walker fired his gun once, saying later that he feared an intruder was entering the apartment. One officer was struck, and he and two other officers fired 32 shots into the apartment, striking Taylor five times.
A federal investigation of the shooting death of Breonna Taylor last March has been quietly proceeding.
Police had a no-knock warrant but said they knocked and announced their presence before entering Taylor’s apartment, a claim some witnesses have disputed. No drugs were found in Taylor’s apartment.
In a tweet Saturday, President Biden called the death of Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, “a tragedy, a blow to her family, her community, and America.”
“As we continue to mourn her, we must press ahead to pass meaningful police reform in Congress. I remain committed to signing a landmark reform bill into law,” he wrote.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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