Los Angeles Police Department officers and protesters got into violent clashes Saturday in downtown L.A., one of several cities nationwide with demonstrations the same night.
Seattle, Los Angeles and Breonna Taylor’s hometown in Kentucky were all the sites of protests in solidarity with Portland, where federal agents have deployed tear gas on people protesting following weeks of civil unrest. Taylor, an EMT, was fatally shot by police in March.
During L.A.’s protests, people gathered outside City Hall and in front of the Federal Building on North Los Angeles Street, which was left with smashed windows and spray-painted markings on its exterior. One message read: “Bacon gets fried.”
Protesters also marched along a nearby stretch of the 101 Freeway.
LAPD issued a citywide tactical alert shortly after 7 p.m.
At 5:23 p.m., LAPD said the protests downtown were peaceful. But video shows some officers using batons during violent clashes sometime before 7 p.m.
An officer says something to a woman holding up her phone before appearing to push her. A man then runs toward the officer and knocks him to the ground. Other LAPD officers and a few protesters rush toward the man, some of the officers waving their batons.
At one point during the evening, demonstrators walked along the 101 Freeway and chanted: “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”
The protests are an extension of civil unrest seen in several U.S. cities following the death of George Floyd in late May. The killings of other Black Americans earlier this year, including Taylor in Kentucky and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, have fueled a broader national reckoning with issues of systemic racism and police violence.
Protests have also paid tribute to 20-year-old U.S. Army soldier Vanessa Guillén, whose family has said she faced sexual harassment at Fort Hood before she was killed.