Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that there would be a curfew in place throughout the city of Los Angeles starting 8 p.m. Saturday until 5:30 a.m. Sunday as protests against the killing of George Floyd continue.
“I’m asking all of Los Angeles to take a deep breath and to step back for a moment to allow our firefighters to put out the flames, to allow our peace officers to reestablish some order,” the mayor said. “And for us to let them protect your rights to be out there for as many days as we need to.”
Previously, the curfew was only for the downtown L.A. area between the 110 Freeway on the west, Alameda on the east, and the 10 Freeway on the south, and 101 Freeway on the north. However, the mayor said hours later that it would be extended to the entire city.
The curfew, which requires people within the city to stay indoors, is in place for one night and Garcetti said he hopes that will be enough. Those traveling to and from work and those seeking or giving emergency care are exempt, the mayor said.
During the nine-and-a-half hour period, streets will be cleaned and windows of businesses in the area will be boarded up, he added.
The cities of Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Culver City, Pasadena and Santa Monica also instituted a curfew starting 8 p.m. Saturday to 5:30 a.m. Sunday.
After initially saying the National Guard would not be called, Garcetti later announced that the guard would be deployed overnight to help the city deal with ongoing looting.
During a third night of protests in downtown Los Angeles Friday, 533 people were arrested, authorities said Saturday. Charges included suspicion of burglary, looting, probation violation, battery on police officer, attempted murder and failure to disperse, according to police.
The Los Angeles Police Department said Friday it would not tolerate violence or property damage during the demonstrations.
“We stand with our communities and rebuke any instance of police brutality as well as acts of violence or property damage,” Chief Michel Moore said in a statement.
Many businesses were looted, several police vehicles were vandalized and six LAPD officers suffered injuries ranging from lacerations to impact wounds, the department said. Some also set fireworks in the street.
During a Friday press briefing, Garcetti promised to protect Angelenos’ right to protest.
“Don’t violate any laws in doing that,” he said. “But we absolutely need — as a nation, certainly as a city — to voice our outrage. It’s our patriotic duty to not only stand up for George Floyd, but for everybody who has been killed unnecessarily, who has been murdered, for the structural racism that we have in our country.”
L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez called racism America’s greatest enemy.
“Our goal cannot simply be to ‘be better’ we have to be righteous and officers who abuse their power need to face justice,” she said in a statement Saturday. “So please protest, please march, please speak out, please cry out to racism’s injustice, including in our police departments, and please do so loudly, but please do so peacefully.”