LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — More protests emerged across Southern California on Saturday, marking the second weekend of demonstrations calling for accountability and justice following the May 25 death of George Floyd.
Floyd died shortly after Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
Remembered as a “gentle giant” by friends and family, Floyd’s dying words of “I can’t breathe” have become a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter protesters across the world in a movement that its proponents say is aimed at dismantling systemic injustices.
Demonstrations began in L.A. and surrounding cities last weekend, involving diverse groups of people calling for change. Days ago, police officers came out of LAPD headquarters Tuesday to kneel alongside protesters in an act of solidarity.
Last week, a state of emergency was declared in L.A. County, curfews were put in place earlier and earlier for several days in a row, and the National Guard walked the city of L.A. for the first time since major earthquakes of 1994 and 1995 after violence and looting began to erupt at some demonstrations. Police used teargas on protesters and some demonstrators were left injured after getting hit with rubber bullets. President Donald Trump warned of military action nationwide if states didn’t take control of any unrest.
This weekend, the scenes looked very different in L.A., Ventura and Orange counties. There were still large groups of hundreds and thousands in some areas, but instances of violence were noticeably fewer.
Los Angeles County
In Pomona, about 100 demonstrators protested in place at a police station as others marched along the city’s streets. Hundreds of people, including sports teams and local university Greek life chapters, began to gather around 8 a.m. outside of the Los Angeles City Hall. In the Fairfax District, a rally started at Pan Pacific Park before protesters moved into West Hollywood.
Groups also gathered in Beverly Hills for the Hollywood talent agencies march to support Black Lives Matter protests. Actors Michael B. Jordan and Kendrick Sampson were among the participants.
In Simi Valley, thousands of people took to the streets to speak out about racial injustices and their displeasure with a recent Facebook post by Mayor Pro Tem Mike Judge, suggesting to hose rioters down.
According to the Ventura County Star newspaper, the protest was organized by high school students with support from the Social Justice Fund for Ventura County, League of United Latin American Citizens District 17 and CAUSE.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered throughout Orange County in Westminster, Pomona, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana and other locations.
Black Lives Matter protesters in Huntington Beach were met by opposing protesters who said they came out instead to protect the city. At least six people were arrested after a scuffle broke out between the two sides.
A peaceful demonstration in Westminster began at around 5:30 p.m. with about 200 participants headed toward the police station. The group grew to about 2,000 people, stopping to chant in front of the Civic Center. Several streets were closed as they marched back to Westminster Park just before 8 p.m. Participants dispersed shortly after and all streets were reopened.
About 500 peaceful protesters gathered in Shiffer Park in Costa Mesa before groups began marching to Carl Thornton Park and Memorial parks in Santa Ana, according to police.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)