LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Thousands marched throughout U.S. cities over the past few days to demand justice and accountability after the deaths of George Floyd and other African Americans at the hand of police.
Police Wednesday declared the entirely peaceful demonstration an unlawful assembly after protesters continued to sit in front of Los Angeles City Hall chanting and singing well after local curfew orders went into place.
The large group initially gathered early Wednesday outside the L.A. Hall of Justice, the office of L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey, as part of a weekly protest against the D.A.
The demonstration was organized by the L.A. chapter of Black Lives Matter and BLD PWR, an organization started by actor Kendrick Sampson.
Lacey, who is an African American woman, has been targeted by activists for not prosecuting more police officers for misconduct.
“She’s a woman, a black woman. She’s a marginalized population any way you slice it,” one protester said. “The fact that she’s allowing this to happen to her own people, her own community is disgusting and I want her out of office immediately. Today would be great.”
Lacey has voiced her support for peaceful protests throughout L.A. and surrounding cities.
In response to criticism of her prosecution history, Lacey touted her record, saying that her team has been “taking tough cases to trial.”
“As an African American woman, I’m always seeking justice,” Lacey said. “But oftentimes, I look at the facts of the case and they are not prosecutable because maybe the person has a weapon or a gun or they shot someone or they knifed someone.”
Lacey said that in her position as D.A., she has continued to be a victim of discrimination.
She has also said that police officers need better training across the board and specifically with deescalation methods when interacting with people battling mental illness and drug addiction.
Lacey is currently running for a third term as D.A. and is up for reelection in a November runoff against former San Francisco D.A. George Gascón, a former LAPD officer.
She said she has no plans to resign despite calls for her to step down.