After nearly a week of protests across Los Angeles, demonstrators gathered at City Hall Monday afternoon to kneel and raise their fists before law enforcement officers standing guard.
Around 2:30 p.m., Sky5 was overheard as dozens of protesters stood before a barricade placed at the government building, where they and officers were separated by just the steps of City Hall. More than a dozen uniformed officers were seen standing at the building’s entrance.
A handful of protesters, no more than a dozen, were standing directly at the gate at 2:24 p.m. Within five minutes, a dense row of protesters lined the barricade as others joined the demonstration.
During that same five-minute span, at least 17 police motorcycles rode past a street along one side of City Hall while a handful of police vehicles drove on the other side.
A few minutes later, at 2:37 p.m., a few dozen protesters were seen kneeling on one knee and raising their fists in the air. An hour later, the crowd there had grown, and some waved protest signs.
Also around 3:30 p.m., as the City Hall protest continued, dozens of other protesters gathered before a barricade placed at the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters on just the adjacent block.
During those demonstrations, just over a dozen officers stood scattered around before the protesters. But at one point, four officers kneeled on one knee a few feet from the barricade.
Meanwhile, the gathering of protesters at City Hall had swelled to a crowd of what appeared to be more than 100 people by 4 p.m. The gathering spilled onto Spring Street in front of City Hall while a few people walked to Grand Park across the street.
A countywide curfew took effect at 5 p.m. although it’s unclear how it affected the size of the crowd as Sky5 was not overhead at the time.
While city officials and advocates have condemned violence amid the protests, many have said looting and criminal activity has been at the hands of a smaller group interfering in demonstrations. Mayor Eric Garcetti has described peaceful protests as being “hijacked.”
But protests do not appear to be ending anytime soon; hundreds gathered in Hollywood past the 6 p.m. curfew. Advocates behind the demonstrations have said they will likely continue, saying lasting change is needed to address the racial profiling and police brutality black Americans face.
“Conversations aren’t enough,” Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors told KTLA on Monday.
“A conversation didn’t stop George Floyd from dying,” Cullors said. “And what we need is structural change … it looks like holding lots of cops accountable, and it looks like really seeing these protesters as people who have righteous rage who also want change.”