As many as 20,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Hollywood Sunday to continue demanding racial justice and decrying police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis.
The march, which went west along Hollywood Boulevard, began about 4 p.m. and came during a weekend of largely peaceful protests, contrasting incidents of vandalism and looting seen last weekend during massive protests around Southern California, as well as the nation.
The beat of drums could be heard, and the flag atop the iconic Capitol Records building had been replaced with one reading “Black Lives Matter.”
“The system that exists right now isn’t ensuring the public safety,” said one demonstrator, holding a sign reading “Defund the Police.” “The police officers who are supposed to protect and serve our citizens aren’t protecting nor serving us.”
“The people are angry. They don’t want this anymore,” she said. “But I think, generally, we’re calm, we’re peaceful, we’re very, very persistent and we’re not going to stop any time soon until we get what we want.”
Another protester said that while the goal is justice for all, the issue is also a personal one to him.
“I just want to feel safe when I wake up, when I leave my house. I want to know that I can call the cops and they’ll come to help me,” he said. “I’m 34, I have never called the cops, and they actually helped me when I called them.”
The demonstration was sponsored by Black Lives Matter and Rapper YG.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced earlier in the day that National Guard troops, who had been deployed to help deal with civil unrest over the past week, will be departing the city Sunday evening. A small contingent of National Guard members will remain stationed nearby through June 10, in case they are needed, he added.