A number of Los Angeles Police Department personnel have been recorded taking a knee alongside protesters who are decrying the death of George Floyd and longrunning police brutality.
Floyd’s death after Minneapolis officers knelt on his neck and back has prompted nationwide protests, some of which resulted in violence, looting and fires.
On Monday, a crowd of protesters gathered outside LAPD headquarters in downtown L.A. began chanting for the line of officers guarding the building to “take a knee.”
A video posted on Twitter by Russ Altenburg shows one of the officers — apparently a commander — step forward and engage the crowd.
“If you want us to take a knee, we’ll take a knee with you,” the commander says. “Because we’re here with you.”
Cheers erupt. The commander goes down on one knee.
A second, third, and then fourth officer then come up and joined him.
“This is our city. We are appalled at what happened in Minneapolis. … As long as we stay peaceful, we’re here with you guys,” the commander says.
The commander, a black man wearing a helmet, bore five hash marks on his sleeve indicating his more than 25 years of service. He appeared to be Cmdr. Gerald Woodyard, who heads the department’s Community Engagement Group. Woodyard tweeted out several videos of the scene.
Meanwhile, in Hollywood, LAPD Cmdr. Cory Palka was involved in a similar situation while responding to another demonstration Monday. Palka leads Operation West Bureau.
“If I take a knee with you guys, will you give me your verbal acknowledgment that this is a peaceful matter,” Palka can be heard saying on a video posted by Los Angeles Times reporter Matt Hamilton.
The crowd cheered and several people answered with a resounding “Yes.”
As Palka took a knee, he grabbed his loudspeaker and said: “We stand together.”
Then, on Tuesday morning, Sky5 was over the downtown area as another rally was beginning.
Three officers could be seen taking a knee in front a growing crowd.
As the officers were kneeling, someone held up a a large red cross behind them as a group gathered to photograph and record video of the scene.
When the officers got back up, they could be seen talking with protesters amid what appeared to be a peaceful crowd.