Thousands of people gathered at more than a dozen peaceful demonstrations around Los Angeles on Saturday to protest the death of George Floyd and other black Americans at the hands of police.
By late Saturday afternoon, several thousand people who participated in a demonstration in Hollywood marched to Beverly Hills. There were few police in sight, though some heavily-armed National Guardsmen were seen posted along the route.
At one point the crowd stopped at the intersection of La Cienega and Santa Monica Boulevard and knelt down for about five minutes. Some sang songs and chanted together. “Peaceful! Protest!” they said in unison.
After a few minutes, the mostly festive crowd broke into applause before continuing their march down Santa Monica Boulevard toward Beverly Hills. Police and sheriff’s helicopters circled overhead.
In downtown Los Angeles, there was a growing crowd in front of City Hall and a smaller group in front of the Los Angeles Police Department by Saturday afternoon.
Andrea Gonzalez brought her mother, husband and three children to City Hall on Saturday afternoon. It was the first ever demonstration for her children, ages 4, 6 and 7.
A group of about 50 nurses and healthcare workers from Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center, USC Keck Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Kaiser Permanente joined the protest in front of City Hall after months of working round-the-clock to help patients affected by the coronavirus.
In Hollywood, a diverse group gathered at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. Hundreds of people of all colors filled the intersection, some hanging out of their car windows or popping their heads through their sunroofs as they chanted George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery’s names.
In Huntington Beach, about 500 people were gathered at Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street at 2 p.m. Saturday, said Officer Angela Bennett, a spokeswoman for the Huntington Beach Police Department.
Two groups of protesters had faced off and officers were standing between them, Bennett said. One group appeared to be affiliated with black lives matter, Bennett said.
Protests were also scheduled Saturday in Torrance, West Los Angeles, Westmont, Santa Ana and other locales around Southern California.