Protesters spurred to action by the lack of direct charges in Breonna Taylor’s death returned to Hollywood streets Friday, a day after at least one was injured as two separate vehicles rammed through crowds demanding racial justice.
Around 6 p.m. Friday evening, a group of about 75 demonstrators began at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street before marching west. By 6:30 p.m., they were headed down Santa Monica Boulevard near Highland Avenue, being led by three vehicles.
The group swelled to more than 100 people as the march made its way toward The Grove.
There was a large police presence in the area, but they did not appear to be directly engaging with the marchers.
Later Friday night, a group was marching down Santa Monica Boulevard and up onto Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were working to corral the march.
Outside the Sunset Oil gas station at the corner of Sunset and San Vicente boulevards, a cadre of deputies blocked the demonstrators’ path around 9:45 p.m.
Deputies were seen approaching the protesters’ vehicles, shining flashlights in and opening the doors. Multiple demonstrators were then tackled as deputies set off some sort of smoke- or gas-emitting device.
Most of the crowd that had been marching dispersed at that point, but at least one person was seen being detained.
Police said earlier Friday that they have not made any arrests in Thursday night’s incidents. Sky5 was above a march through Hollywood as two separate vehicles sped through the crowd, despite protesters in their paths.
Paramedics said one person was taken to the hospital, and according to a GoFundMe page, a second person is also recovering from severe injuries. The campaign is raising money for their recoveries.
The page’s creator states that one protester is suffering from a fractured skull, concussion and internal organ damage, and the other had their foot and leg crushed.
In the first incident, aerial video showed at least two people up against a truck’s hood.
Cellphone video shows the pickup revving up with a demonstrator on the grill. The person then slams onto the pavement. The pickup stopped briefly as protesters banged on it, then sped away.
Police chased down and detained the driver, but said he was released “pending the outcome of a hit and run investigation.” Officers did not release the man’s name.
About half an hour later, a white Prius was seen plowing through a crowd in the intersection of Sunset and Cahuenga boulevards.
That vehicle was also chased down, and the driver was detained after a confrontation with occupants of vehicles that had been following the march.
But detectives told the Los Angeles Times they’re reviewing whether the two drivers are “the suspect of a hit-and-run or the victim of an assault.”
The local rallies come after a grand jury declined to charge two of the three ex-Louisville police officers who shot at Taylor after busting into her home with a no-knock warrant. One officer was charged, but for firing into neighboring apartments.
The protests that have swept the nation this year in the wake of George Floyd’s death have largely been focused on defunding America’s police departments in response to systemic brutality.