LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles community leaders called for peace Saturday, as a fourth day of unrest unfolded across the city after the deadly arrest of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday.
As City of Refuge Church Bishop Noel Jones urged Angelenos not to resort to violence, police sirens could be heard just outside, nearly overpowering his voice.
“This is an all-too-familiar experience, and our suffering is real,” said Noel, a Jamaican-American Pentecostal bishop. “But violence is not the solution. Coming across the aisle of our separation and the paradoxes that create the problems that fuel these types of outbursts, that is the remedy that we have to find that sustains peace.”
While he spoke, thousands were gathering in the Fairfax District to protest Floyd’s death. While the protests began peacefully, they eventually became tense as some turned to looting and other acts of violence.
L.A. City councilman Paul Koretz also asked for peace on Saturday, saying that he wanted everyone to listen to protestors’ message about the death of George Floyd, but destroying property would not solve the issues at hand.
“I am absolutely heartbroken over the senseless and vicious death of George Floyd,” Koretz said. “That these kinds of terrible incidents still take place in the USA is devastating. Black lives do matter, and this shouldn’t be happening anywhere in our country…
“However, the violence and looting we saw last night was no less troubling,” Koretz continued. “Physical attacks upon innocent residents, efforts to set residential buildings filled with people on fire, and destroying millions of dollars in property was reprehensible as well. I have no sympathy or tolerance for such actions.”
Koretz said he asked the LAPD to be “completely supportive of peaceful protest, but to clamp down on criminal actions” that may occur.
“Justice means all offending officers involved in the George Floyd incident are charged and arrested,” Councilman Joe Buscaino said in a statement. “Peace cannot exist without justice. We don’t have peace in America because justice continues to be unequal in America.”
L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva also encouraged peace, asking residents to put their trust in the justice system’s handling of the Floyd case.
“Every chief of police … throughout the nation expects the same thing, and justice will be served, but we have to have patience while the justice is served,” he said, noting that his deputies are working alongside
the LAPD to protect the peace.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)