George Floyd Protests, Part 1: Los Angeles in Unrest

​On Monday, May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a Black man, was killed by Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis Police Department officer, for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill.


Chauvin choked Floyd to death by kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes despite Floyd pleading, "I can't breathe." Three other officers aided Chauvin by further restraining Floyd and keeping bystanders away.


The killing of George Floyd sparked protests in all 50 states and across the globe as anger over racism and police brutality overpowered the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, marking the beginning of a worldwide reckoning with racism and its role in police brutality.


The first weekend after Floyd’s death proved chaotic for Los Angeles. These photos are from the Fairfax District protest on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Thousands of people gathered in Pan Pacific Park and peacefully marched until police cars arrived.


In an explosion of emotion, the protest turned violent as LAPD officers and some protesters confronted each other. LAPD officers injured dozens of protesters and journalists with tear gas, rubber bullets and nightsticks, while the protesters burned multiple police cars and threw water bottles and rocks at the police.


Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a curfew that night from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., but patches of Los Angeles descended into lawlessness well past curfew as people vandalized buildings and looted stores, some of which were Black-owned.


Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, who organized the peaceful march, distanced itself from the violence that took over. The following day, Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles and deployed the National Guard.

A trashed Los Angeles Police Department patrol car burns on the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and Edinburgh Avenue. Protesters lit at least two police cars on fire during the protest in the Fairfax District.
Two Black protesters shelter behind a mattress as LAPD officers fire rubber bullets at them on Beverly Boulevard.
A street medic tends to the wounds of Justin Tanga, a white protester who was shot with multiple rubber bullets by the LAPD while he protected his friend Jarett Conner, a Black protester.
Activists with Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles writes the phone number to the National Lawyers Guild of Los Angeles on each others' arms. "If anyone is kidnapped by the pigs, we recommend putting numbers on your arm," a protest leader told the crowd.
A masked protester tags the wall with "ACAB!", an acronym for "All cops are bastards."
Protesters start a peaceful march from Pan Pacific Park around the Fairfax District in Central Los Angeles. Organizers with Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles called for discipline at the beginning of the march. (Jintak Han/Daily Bruin)
A protester kicks a LAPD patrol car rushing to another part of the district.
A woman begs protesters to stop throwing objects at the police, fearing the protest will turn more violent.
LAPD officer Joshua Moses, center, threatens protesters with his shotgun. He did not shoot—instead, he got back into the patrol car, which sped away from the protesters.
Protesters take command of a charred LAPD patrol car. The police declared the protest an unlawful gathering a few minutes later.
Workers board up a Whole Foods Market on the corner of Third St. and Fairfax Avenue, near the center of the protests, as looting intensifies across central Los Angeles. (Jintak Han/Daily Bruin)
A man keeps watch next to a mural of late NBA star Kobe Bryant as looters break into Sorella, a Black-owned boutique clothing store on Melrose Avenue.
A looter steals a bicycle from Spokes 'N Stuff, a local bicycle shop chain in Los Angeles.
A column of LAPD officers approach a trash fire on Melrose Avenue. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti enforced a countywide 8 p.m. curfew in response to the violent protests, but the looting continued well not the night.
Copyright © All rights reserved.
Using Format