The Los Angeles Police Department Tuesday called a tactical alert in the city following the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in connection with the murder of George Floyd.
The agency acknowledged that while there are no current unlawful assemblies, the tactical alert is in “an abundance of caution.”
“The department is proactively taking initiative to ensure adequate resources to respond to any situation should the need arise,” LAPD officials said in a tweet. “We remain committed to ensuring the balance of ensuring public safety of all and being respectful to the community. We strive to protect and serve every member of the community equally.”
Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Also on Tuesday, the LAPD halted the use of certain projectile weapons during protests, the Los Angeles Times reported. The department has faced criticism for its handling of demonstrators in the wake of Floyd’s death last year.
A peaceful demonstration was held Tuesday afternoon at Normandie and West Florence avenues, a flashpoint of the 1992 Rodney King riots.
Faith leaders also gathered ahead of the verdict in downtown Los Angeles and were planning on demonstrating regardless of how it came back.
Pastor Shep Crawford of Experience Christian Ministries, who gathered at the downtown L.A. rally, said he felt nervous ahead of the jury’s decision. He prayed for guilty, and when he heard the three guilty verdicts, he said he felt relief.
Pastor Eddie Anderson of Clergy for Black Lives said the verdict means more than just a former officer going to prison.
“The soul of a nation was on trial, and I think that the heart of a nation begins to beat a little bit more with justice as its rhythm today,” he said.
But Pastor Charles Johnson of Cochran Avenue Baptist Church said Tuesday is just the beginning of a long road ahead.
“This is just one of many verdicts that should have already happened,” Johnson said. “We only have a short time to get excited, but tomorrow, we got to get to work.”
Other small demonstrations took place outside L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s residence in Windsor Square and in the Fairfax district.
Around 9:45 p.m., LAPD said protesters were blocking the intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard with the intent to kneel for 9 minutes, 29 seconds — the amount of time prosecutors say Chauvin knelt on Floyd.
Other local cities — including Santa Monica and Long Beach — that experienced looting and destruction during last year’s protests were preparing for possible unrest this week by beefing up law enforcement presence.
“You will continue to see a strong presence of uniformed police personnel throughout the city. We urge our community to remain calm and peaceful. It is imperative that our community remain vigilant at all times,” the Santa Monica Police Department tweeted after the verdict was read.
Also as a precaution Tuesday, the city of Los Angeles temporarily shut down Dodger Stadium and eight other COVID-19 vaccination sites in the event of mass protests, the Times reported. The city will reschedule appointments for those who were affected for sometime later this week.