In their own wordsWhy we are protesting

George Floyd's killing by Minneapolis police sparked a wave of protests across America. The Times wanted to hear why Angelenos have taken to the streets — here’s what they said.

To stand in solidarity and advocate for minorities. As a minority Rohingya-American, I know the feelings of being a victim of racism back in Burma.Ko Ko

I’m done watching the LAPD and LA County Sheriff's Department brutalize and kill black and brown folks in our own communities and across the country by fascist police. RIP George Floyd. There is no accountability or justice for the lives they have stolen. I hope Garcetti and D.A. Jackie Lacey are watching and shaking in their boots. And if you’re mad about the looting, remember you’re living on stolen land. These are the streets built over Tongva lands, on the backs of Black and brown people.R.M.

Because black lives don’t matter. They should, but they currently don’t.S.I.

To make sure other white people aren't initiating violence/property damage and to provide physical and emotional support for our black friends.Joe

As an Asian American during the xenophobic times of COVID-19, I was defended by African American brothers and sisters. It was my duty to defend them, too, during these heinous times.Christian

The first national political news that I recall watching on television was the beating of Rodney King. I'm protesting because so little has changed since then, and I can't sit on the sidelines while people of color are being terrorized by people in positions of power. Every time there has been a high-profile killing of a person of color by a police officer – whether Oscar Grant, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile – we see the outrage rise, and then dissipate. We become accustomed to this as a new normal (a pattern not unlike that which we see with mass shootings in the United States). We can and must do better.Miranda

American leaders will proudly wage war across the world, in the name of protecting human rights. Yet, silently embraces racism in our own country, denying Black America of those very same rights. Shame on you, Donald Trump, for continuing to encourage a nation of hate. Your legacy will forever be known for having the blood of countless Black lives on your hands.Stacie

I’m protesting to honor my black friends and their community. To show them I value their lives and I hear them. I will work against the racism that harms them. Rest In Peace George Floyd, as well as every single life lost because of police injustice.Alysa

Buildings should not be more important than human lives. Minorities must stick together.Max

Black and Brown people are the lowest of value in this country, and we are sick and tired of seeing people harass and kill our people without consequence. We are sick and tired of living in fear. This country would rather continue to kill and harass its citizens than arrest three cops for murder. This is a fight for our lives. NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!

No one deserves the level of systematic injustice that’s been put upon people of color. Seeing the armored sheriffs and the helicopters and the assault rifles and the murder after murder that’s made its way through the Los Angeles system alone has broken my heart.

We need a people’s budget that lifts up our community’s most vulnerable instead of funding a police force that has allowed its members to perpetrate racial crimes unpunished.

As an Asian American, I can’t stand by and watch as injustices against the African American community are going unpunished. All lives won’t matter until we step up and recognize that Black lives haven’t mattered to America so far. I protest because I hear their pain, and I want to show that I am here and I recognize their hurt.Taylor

To address the ongoing issues of racial injustice in the United States. I am protesting so I don’t become another statistic.Gustavo

Tired of hearing of another death of an unarmed black man. Tired of white friends rolling their eyes and continue with their lives thinking this is OK or it doesn’t affect them. Tired of explaining police brutality to friends who have family members who are “good cops” but support our president, who supports racism. Just tired. Frustrated as hell and demanding change. Now. Enough.Natalie

Because it’s time we learn how to act like humans.Gabe

I attended the protests because police need to be held accountable by other police and by the laws they are hired to uphold. People of color should not have to be afraid to do everyday normal things like jogging or driving. Why did we have to wait so long to arrest a cop who was clearly caught on camera ... ? What if justice has been served in a timely manner? Would every store in my neighborhood still be there?Joy

I’m protesting because acts of violence towards black lives can’t keep happening. We protest to save lives, to scream at the world that this can’t go on. Police brutality must end. Policemen can’t abuse their power. These men who killed innocent black lives must be held accountable for what they knew [they] were doing. No one can have justice until everyone has justice. No justice, no peace.Lilian

We want politicians that aren't afraid of the political power of the police.Jennifer

I, for one, have never been less proud to be an American than I am today. If you still support the tiny-handed, Clorox-drinking, ‘looting and shooting,’ racist scum of a president we have, you need to take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself: Are you really proud to be American?

I am a fat, middle-aged white lady who will offer my services as an escort to a black man who wants to go to the grocery store, or go jogging or go birdwatching. The cops won't kill me, but they might kill him if I'm not with him.Kelly

I got tired of sitting at home feeling anxious and helpless. As an undocumented organizer, I recognize that now is the time to stand up for abolition and justice for all. Regardless of my status, the black community is looking for support from everyone. I know that my freedom is tied to their freedom. Being out on the streets today was so empowering and peaceful. People were looking out for each other because we knew things could take a turn for the worse in an instant. That is the reality that so many black people have had to adapt to for centuries.Johana

We can A) invest in communities and give people what they need. Or B) invest in prisons and police to brutalize people when they act out because they don’t have what they need. I protested because America has chosen to do the latter.Richie

Because I don’t want to live in a country where the authorities murder with impunity. That is a more existential threat than COVID-19.Karine

It’s time to dismantle and reform “police culture” in this country.Ashley

Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Current police brutality and murder. I'm protesting the illegitimate authority of the USA and the LAPD.Robert

Because police officers have abused their power and run rampant for too long. They have been viciously murdering people with impunity. It’s systematic oppression upheld and reinforced by white supremacy.

Because I could’ve been George Floyd.Joe

I protest a system that knelt on the neck of a black man until he died because it is the very same system that not only has killed countless other black men and women, but has killed thousands of Americans of all races by failing to protect us effectively and successfully in a global pandemic. ... America is broken and has been broken for quite some time, and I couldn’t live with myself if I told my future children that I did nothing at all to effect change.Janay

We have lost our way. We have lost our humanity. And we have definitely lost whatever pretense we had of a democratic society.V.H.

Friday night in DTLA, in front of my home, I exercised my 1st Amendment rights, feeling the same overwhelming anxiety and pain from another black person being killed rush back. ... There has to be a change.Toni

Because Black Lives Matter. Mayor Garcetti and members of the City Council are working to expand LAPD's budget even as crime is down during the pandemic. It makes no sense. We should be investing more in what people need to survive and thrive — housing, food, schools, jobs — not adding to our already bloated police budget.Victoria

When there is a police shooting, with the chaos that often is involved, I can understand there might be two sides to the story. But to see the video of a white police officer slowly and deliberately killing a black man, suffocating the life out of him minute by minute and keeping up the pressure almost two minutes after the man has no pulse: There is no excuse. It is murder, plain and simple. The other officers stood and watched it happen. There is no excuse for their behavior, either. They were complicit.

The right question to ask: Why are you not protesting? Unlike the previous generation who was able to turn a blind eye to police brutality and allow systemic racism to persist with little to no accountability, our generation — the most diverse generation in American history — is saying ‘Enough!’ We will not bear this oppressive and racist system we have inherited. We want change now, not later. We are not asking for it, we are demanding it!Jorge

Why isn't EVERYONE protesting? Six years after Ferguson and Eric Garner, law enforcement is still getting away with kiling black men on video. How is that acceptable to anyone?! I am proud to be one of many non-black people marching with our black brothers and sisters, chanting, ‘Say his name: George Floyd,’ ‘Prosecute Killer Cops’ and ‘No Justice, No Peace,’ especially because I am a Korean American who is aware of the L.A. riots in 1992. I saw people of all races at Pan Pacific Park today. ... No, I cannot know what it is like to be a black person in this country, always under threat of getting killed just for being black, even while sleeping in my own bed or watching TV in my own living room, but I can try to understand and fight for them.Karen

In solidarity with Black Lives Matter. I’m white, and want to make my support visible in some way.Ian

How the COVID-19 pandemic has been handled, leaving huge parts of society left without healthcare, due process or a future points out the ZERO representation by any political party or leadership along the way.Dave

Because as a white person I can no longer be silent! My complacency shows agreement, and that is not OK. Jesus stands for the disenfranchised. As a Christian, I need to stand for the disenfranchised.Carol

Because I'm sick and tired of hearing that the system is broken. It's not broken; it's doing exactly what it's meant to do — disenfranchise black and Latino [people].

Injustice, injustice, injustice. What has this great country become? A place where people are suffering more every day with unfair treatment and the bashing of basic civil liberties and human rights.Philippe

Because I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.

I went because it was the right thing to do. For years I saw things in this country that made me angry and was too afraid to go to the streets, telling myself, ‘What good will it do anyway?’ So I made donations and wrote strongly written letters, but what good did any of that do? Clearly not much. So I needed to be there physically, in the community, not just showing support in the shadows, but proud and out loud.Quinn

Hearing Mr. Floyd call out for his mother in his last moments of life broke me. I sat on my car bawling. I'm a mother of three sons. My sons look to me for comfort when they fall or are cold. They look for Mom to comfort and nurture them. Mr. Floyd called out for his mom to comfort him. That shook me. Enough is enough. Cops can't keep killing our sons, brothers and husbands and getting off with a slap on the wrist. It ends now. We've been asking for help for years. Do you hear us now?Yesenia

I’m protesting because not only is it incumbent upon all of us to fight back against racist institutions like the LAPD, but the act of coming together during a global pandemic/unprecedented economic crisis is an act of solidarity that makes me feel connected to my city more than any time since I’ve lived here.J.U.

When the Rodney King video came out, I rejoiced thinking the world would finally see what we dealt with daily. I thought they just didn't know — I didnt realize they just didn't care. Then Latasha Harlins was killed, shot in the back of the head on video after paying for her purchases, her murderer got the same sentence as a man who’d abused a dog. ... I’ve long since forgotten the names of the innocent black people murdered. ... Those names got mingled with the ones my elders taught me about (Emmett Till, George Stinney, etc., etc., etc.), But worse, we keep adding to the list: It has grown longer than my memory. This is why I protest.Misty

End of the police state. Return of civil liberties and constitutional right as a U.S. citizen and as a human being of this planet. End Trump's blatant corruption.

I came out today to tell the cops I was coming after their jobs, not to riot. I came out today because this country has to have a moral reckoning. White people have to confront the system we’ve built that oppressed black people in the country and dismantle it. I came to tell the mayor to spend less on police bonuses and overtime and more on mental health crisis teams, more on homelessness services and less on rubber bullets, like the ones that were shot at me today. This country MUST change.

I am white and I am ashamed and outraged every time a black citizen is killed by a white police officer. This has been going on for decades and enough is enough. Police officers are sworn to protect and to serve all citizens of the community. They do not have the right to kill these citizens, then make up a cover story about ‘resisting arrest.’Jodi

I am protesting because I'm tired of all our actions being a powerless scream into the void. All the accumulated stress from each new horror story of inequity is like a wire holding my jaw shut. For the first time, it feels like people can listen. I hope this movement can be a light that makes it starkly clear what the world is like.

The need for change to the police system. For the police union to remove itself and to set up a new system from the ground up.

We cannot afford to be neutral in situations of injustice. Honestly, my heart is hurting — it’s broken. Right now it’s in the news because the violence was filmed, but black communities and my brown brothers and sisters see this day in and day out. The scars of colonization and white supremacy are burned into our DNA through generational trauma of rape, murder and looting of our ancestors. [People of color] wear this pain every day, we carry it inside us always; we just can’t suppress this trauma any longer.Natalie

Police unions have for too long fought the changes needed to change policing. There is great injustice in how police here in L.A. treat minorities, people experiencing homelessness and other disenfranchised groups. The city has cut services, but is giving police raises, and the so-called progressives on the City Council say nothing.Rick

In the words of Fannie Lou Hamer, I'm plain ol' sick and tired of being sick and tired! For too long the police departments in OUR country have behaved like legal entities of the KKK. Yes, there was a lot of looting and property damage and that is wrong, but so was the looting of Africa of its people; so is the damage to the properties of humanity.Grant

I'm protesting against the benefit of the doubt given to law enforcement in case of police terrorism against communities of color. ... Why aren't you protesting?Absalom

I am protesting our failure to reckon with history, and to make reparations in the wake of it. I am protesting because black people being killed every day for things I do without fear, by the same forces that, at their roots, were founded in order to catch and return people escaping slavery. I am protesting because people I love live in fear of police every day, people I love are dying slowly in cages because they can't afford bail to get out, or because the systems that put them there are more focused on punishment and erasure than on healing and accountability. I am protesting because police don't make people safer, and incarceration does not serve the interests of justice. I am protesting because if I care about justice and liberation for all people, then I have to show up.

Due to military-like response by police to peaceful protest. And now literally military response.

Enough is enough. It's got to stop. Peaceful protest in Venice last night.Todd

It starts and stops with the police/law enforcement. Until new training efforts, stop hiring/recruitment from white nationalists that police our communities, combined with NO justice for any police/murderers, either on film or not, there can be no peace. They may quell this unrest, but it will appear again. ... There are millions of Chauvins in the so many police forces, turn them in. There are a million Amy Coopers in everyday corporate life. ... They/We protest being tired for having this target on our backs everyday, just for being BLACK. Tired that all the good white people, our friends, co-workers won't stand up. Tired. That's why we protest.Jacqueline

Because our work is unfinished, now more than ever. We are responsible for making our society just. No one else. By any means necessary, because we've already seen again and again that there is no alternative to direct action in the streets. Stop murdering black people!!!

It’s my only way of getting attention to the societal devastation caused by evictions, exploitative pay and an inability to have healthcare or a comfortable retirement.Jason

Discrimination against one group of people should be considered discrimination against us all. We must stand up together and demand change to institutional bigotry. This is why I march and volunteer as a medic at these rallys.Tanto

Because the LAPD is the most violent, racist, brutal gang in Los Angeles’ history.Pablo

My reasoning is that it will be me next with the knee on the neck, or someone I love, with no recourse or remedy. What happened to the police internalizing their own motto: to protect and serve? When the entire population has been pushed to the brink with the lockdown ... and lack of factual information, leadership's only answer is do less.Dana

L..A. mayor is a total failure on every challenge, no passion, no leadership, just a bunch of soft talk on hard issues.


I’m protesting in support of the demands put together by the leaders and organizers of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles. We are demanding two things: First, the rejection of Eric Garcetti’s new LAPD budget proposal and for those funds to be allocated directly into the community through a people’s budget. This would provide money for housing, education, healthcare, jobs, food, transit and small businesses. Second, for ALL the police officers involved in the George Floyd murder to be prosecuted. This also includes prosecuting any and all killer cops involved in murders of innocent people in Los Angeles and the U.S. alike. Obviously, with an emphasis on the far too common murders fueled by racism.Jillian

This is about ALL injustices. The black innocent lives that are lost time and time again at the hands of police. Yet they unjustly get to walk away with their hands clean. Trump being in office and getting to stay in office is an injustice to the entire U.S. and we all know why. The rich getting richer off the poor, getting first access to everything, including COVID testing and treatment is an injustice. Greedy corporations preying on innocent lives. THIS IS ABOUT ALL INJUSTICES.