Dozens of protesters marched through Santa Monica Thursday afternoon to demand justice for George Floyd, a black man who was killed Monday by a Minneapolis police officer.
Demonstrators wearing black and orange chanting “No justice, no peace, no racist police” and “White silence is white violence” gathered at Santa Monica Police Department headquarters around 3 p.m. and walked down Ocean Front Walk to a Los Angeles Police Department substation in Venice. Protest organizers asked participants on Instagram to march peacefully and “use love to drown the hate.”
Protests erupted across the country after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck during an arrest as Floyd repeated that he couldn’t breathe. The Minneapolis Police Department fired Chauvin and three other officers involved in the arrest but did not charge them with murder, sparking riots in Minneapolis.
In downtown Los Angeles, nearly 100 protesters demonstrated Thursday in front of Los Angeles Police Department headquarters. Demonstrators blocked a downtown stretch of the 101 Freeway the evening before.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore and Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva denounced Chauvin’s conduct Wednesday, and Moore said in a video statement Thursday that peaceful street demonstrations should be and are occurring across the country and in Los Angeles raise awareness of injustice.
“It is part of the very democracy (that) makes this country great,” Moore said in the video.
On Friday, a group of surfers gathered at Inkwell Beach in Santa Monica to Paddle out in memory of Floyd.
The stretch of beach near Bay Street was historically an area where African Americans from the region would gather to enjoy the ocean without harassment.