LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota earlier this week sparked heated demonstrations in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, with dozens of protesters shutting down traffic on the 101 Freeway.
The protest, which started out peacefully, turned violent after some individuals smashed the windows of two California Highway Patrol cruisers and jumped on the vehicles.
At least one protester was taken away from the scene by emergency responders with unknown injuries after falling off a cruiser.
A group was also seen burning an American flag in protest.
The front sign at Los Angeles Police Department headquarters was later defaced with graffiti.
Police confirmed Thursday that no demonstrators were arrested.
The L.A. chapter of Black Lives Matter shared news of the protest at 211 W. Temple Street, the office of L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey and LAPD headquarters.
“I’m tired of seeing people who look like me murdered for no reason,” protester Jamiu Carter told CBSLA. “It’s not new, it’s been going on since day one.”
Other groups may have also responded to the demonstration, which shut down the 101 Freeway for about 15 minutes.
Many of the people in attendance were seen wearing masks in observance of coronavirus guidelines.
L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva urged protesters to avoid unlawful behavior in a tweet on Wednesday night, saying, “I share in the nation’s outrage over the tragic death of George Floyd. Police brutality is unacceptable under any circumstances, and in order to gain the public’s trust, we have to respect the very rule of law, we are sworn to uphold.”
LAPD responded similarly:
“Earlier we saw people on the streets of Downtown L.A., at times going onto the 101 freeway, to protest the death of George Floyd. We hear your anger & your pain. We will always facilitate freedom of speech. Period. All we ask is that protests are held in a safe & legal manner.”
Meanwhile, there were violent protests in Minneapolis overnight Wednesday. According to CBS Minnesota, buildings were set ablaze and one man was shot to death.
— Kara Finnstrom (@KaraFinnstrom) May 28, 2020
The protests follow the arrest and death of George Floyd on Monday, who lost consciousness with the knee of a Minneapolis city police officer pressing against his neck. Floyd died hours later at a hospital.
Video of Floyd’s arrest spread Tuesday on social media. While lying facedown on the road, Floyd repeatedly says he can’t breathe, which is reminiscent of the dying words of Eric Garner who died in 2014 after being held in a
The officers involved in Floyd’s arrest — identified by the city of Minneapolis as Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Keung — have since been fired.
They were called to the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis following a report that someone tried to used a forged document at a deli. Police initially said Floyd was resisting officers and appeared intoxicated.
Floyd’s death has drawn demands for justice across the nation.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called for the release of body camera footage in Floyd’s arrest and is also calling on the officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck to be charged.
The FBI, Minnesota Department of Criminal Apprehension and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office are currently investigating the incident.