Protests against police brutality and racial injustice continued to proliferate throughout Los Angeles County on Saturday, June 13, kicking off with a 9 a.m. gathering of “social workers in solidarity with black lives” at the University of Southern California and a 9:30 a.m. march at the Cochran Ave Baptist Church in Mid-Wilshire.
On Hollywood Boulevard, some folks got creative with their statements, painting “All Black Lives Matter” in yellow block letters across the thoroughfare. The effort was organized with the help of Trailer Park, a marketing agency in the city.
Nancy Lee, a proofreader for the company, said she was happy to help when she heard about the project.
“It’s the least I can do,” she said. “It’s so upsetting to see how much black people have had to endure” in this country.
“I hope something happens this time,” Lee added, “to change people.”
Meanwhile, in Downtown Los Angeles, about 100 skateboarders participated in a “More Skating Less Hating” demonstration.
About a hundred skateboarders skate through #dtla to @STAPLESCenter for “More Skating Less Hating” a day of peaceful protest skating, in the wake of the #GeorgeFloyd murder. #skateboarding #LosAngelesProtest #skating #peaceful #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/CQiN52bOL8
— James F. Carbone (@saintcamera) June 13, 2020
And about 30 miles east, more than 60 demonstrators gathered at Carlton Peterson Park in Diamond Bar for their own rally. The protest began with eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence to commemorate the length of time that a white police officer in Minnesota kneeled on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, before Floyd died on Memorial Day. After each minute, the crowd chanted, “I can’t breathe,” the words Floyd repeatedly told the officer before he died.
“That’s not going to be my child or husband on that pavement, and that’s why we’re here today,” organizer Lauren James said. “Because enough is enough.”
Alejandra Tolley, 22, attended the Diamond Bar rally. She said the demonstration, with speeches from organizers and local leaders, was more structures than others she’s attended.
“We shouldn’t be arguing with black and brown folks about why they’re mad,” Tolley said. “We should just listen.”
Rep. Gil Cisneros, D-Fullerton, whose district includes Diamond Bar, was also in attendance. He urged those gathered to use their anger at the polls in November.
“We mourn the death of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd,” he said. “But this isn’t about the death of one individual. It’s about centuries of racism and inequality.”
Diamond Bar City Councilmember Andrew Chou, meanwhile, told the crowd he would push for two resolutions at the next council meeting: support for Assembly Bill 1196, which would ban carotid artery restraints and chokeholds statewide, and the ‘8 Can’t Wait‘ platform, which aims to reform police departments by:
- Banning chokeholds and strangleholds;
- Requiring de-escalation;
- Requiring warning before shooting;
- Requiring officers to exhaust all alternatives before shooting;
- Emphasizing the duty to intervene if officers see their colleagues using excessive force;
- Banning shooting at moving vehicles;
- Establishing a use-of-force continuum that restricts the most severe force to be used only in the most extreme situations; and
- Requiring comprehensive reporting of use of force or threats to use force.
“This,” Chou said, “is our civil rights movement.”
City News Service and James Carbone contributed to this report. This story is developing and will be updated.
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Author: Claire Wang, Axel Koester