George Floyd Protests, Part 3: Demanding Change
As reports of police brutality in Los Angeles continued to surface, LAPD began de-escalating its response to the daily protests. The California National Guard diffused tensions in Hollywood after the police retreated to the applause of the protesters on June 2, 2020. Nightly curfew enforcement began an hour or two after the start of curfew, until Mayor Eric Garcetti lifted the curfew altogether on June 4. The guardsmen eventually withdrew from Los Angeles on June 7.
Protesters likewise encouraged each other to be peaceful. A march leader who identified himself as “X” asked his fellow protesters to save their anger and energy for tomorrow instead of getting arrested today. A group of protesters at City Hall on June 3 told news media to film their arrest in full—they said they wanted to show that they neither feared nor resisted arrest.
Angelenos across many cultures also held memorials for victims of police violence. Hundreds of surfers gathered across LA County for a memorial paddle-out, usually a tradition to honor the death of someone in the surfing community. Local artists and creatives painted murals dedicated to George Floyd and other victims of police violence. The words "All Black Lives Matter" now adorn a section of Hollywood Boulevard in rainbow colors, a show of support for the LGBT Black community.
On June 5, protesters at a police vigil for Floyd lashed out at LAPD Chief Michel Moore when he did not give what they were asking for: A promise of change. Meanwhile, people of color continued to die at the hands of law enforcement: Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies shot and killed 18-year-old Andres Guardado on June 18 and 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee on Aug. 31, renewing protests against law enforcement in the county. Sheriff's deputies in particular have met these protests with heavy use of so-called "less lethal" weapons such as tear gas and rubber bullets.
Floyd was laid to rest in Houston, his hometown, Monday, June 8, 2020. Even as protests have shifted to focus on other victims of police killings, Floyd's name has become synonymous with the fight for racial justice.