LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — District Attorney Jackie Lacey and City Attorney Mike Feuer say they will not prosecute any peaceful protestors who were arrested during recent protests.
Both officials say charges won’t be filed against protestors for violating curfew or failing to disperse in an effort to take a non-punitive approach in handling all violations from the protests that did not involve violence, looting or vandalism.
“Peaceful protest is profoundly important, and these protests have rekindled a long-overdue effort to change hearts, minds and institutions,” Feuer said in a statement.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he supported Feuer’s decision to refrain from prosecuting protesters who were not arrested for looting or other violent acts.
“This moment has the potential to bend the arc of our future toward a more fair and just city and country for everyone, if we’re willing to seize it,” Garcetti said in a statement. “I hope Angelenos will stay engaged in the cause to bring transformational progress. That is how we will continue the hard, necessary work of rooting out racism from our institutions, policies, laws and communities.”
Lacey, whose jurisdiction includes cities where other protests have taken place, also emphasized free speech and peaceful demonstration.
“I want to encourage the exchange of ideas and work to establish dialogue between law enforcement and protesters so that we may implement enduring systemic change,” she said in a statement.
Thousands have been arrested at protests in Los Angeles since the death of George Floyd two weeks ago. Floyd died shortly after being held by the neck under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer for more than eight minutes. That officer, Derek Chauvin, has since been fired and charged with murder.