Photo Essay: The Day Black Lives Matter Showed Up At Eric Garcetti's House

People demonstrate against racism and police brutality at a protest in Hancock Park outside L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's house on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. This is Day 7 of nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

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A protestor takes a knee in front of the police scrimmage line at a demonstration in Hancock Park on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

Last Tuesday afternoon, thousands of people gathered in Hancock Park outside the home of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for an anti-racism protest quietly organized by Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.

Helicopters roared overhead but the voices of the protestors could not be silenced as they chanted George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the names of many other Black Americans killed by police. Their two demands: to prosecute the police officers involved in these killings and to defund police departments while reinvesting that money in community resources.

Police officers in riot gear formed a skirmish line at 6th and Irving streets, cutting off access west on 6th Street where more officers waited. At one point, a group of protestors sat down and chanted "I don't see no riot here, why are you in riot gear?" When police left the area before the 6 p.m. curfew, people cheered. The protest remained non-violent.

It was a stark difference from some of the protests the weekend before last, which began peacefully but escalated with heavy police presence and resulted in multiple injuries as demonstrators and journalists were hit with batons, shot with rubber bullets and tear-gassed.

Around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, organizers called an end to the protest. Dozens of people stayed past curfew and continued chanting. A woman led the crowd in yoga and breathwork, an elder in the Black community spoke about the various ways to seek justice and demonstrators sat for a moment of silence.

A speaker rallies the crowd and shares his perspective on the various forms of protest at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Hancock Park on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

One activist who spoke emphasized that this was an act of civil disobedience and that people who stayed longer could face arrest.

By my guess, approximately 150 protestors remained and marched through residential streets in Hancock Park, making their way to Wilshire Boulevard where they were met with multiple lines of riot police performing a kettling maneuver.

The crowd split up and turned onto side streets but they were eventually cornered and arrested. I was briefly detained. One protestor cuffed by thick plastic bands, shared that he spent the day dropping off groceries for people before heading to the protest. "Doing it for the people," he explained, as we were marched to the police bus loading area on 8th Street and Crenshaw Boulevard.

A protestor writes the phone number of a lawyer on their arm in case they get arrested at a demonstration outside L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's house on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

While handcuffed and waiting for buses to arrive, the protestors continued chanting George Floyd's name. Before I was loaded onto the bus, a fellow reporter, Lexis-Olivier Ray, was able to show the police my journalism work. At around 10 p.m., I was released. Other people weren't so lucky. More than 100 protestors were detained. Some were taken to the 77th Street Community Police Station in South Central where they were given citations with court dates in the fall.

What I saw that day was a multi-ethnic group of people who were outraged, motivated, and ready for systemic change. They were met by an incredible show of force orchestrated by the LAPD for violating curfew, a curfew that the ACLU challenged as a First Amendment violation and the city dropped. Protestors persisted even while in handcuffs and being loaded on police buses.

To see this level of commitment for Black lives across races and ethnicities felt like a shift. This wasn't a random event and it didn't happen overnight. Protests like these took decades of organizing and activism.


Protestors remain outside of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's house, demanding justice for those killed by police and calling on him to defund the LAPD. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

Black Lives Matter activist Janaya Future Khan speaks to the crowd in front of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's house on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

Volunteers pass out water at a protest in front of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's house on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

Protestors take a knee at a demonstration outside L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's house on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

Actor and activist Kendrick Sampson speaks to a news reporter at a protest outside L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's house on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

Protestors raise their fists and chant as they march through Hancock Park during at a Black Lives Matter demonstration on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

Protestors gather at 6th and Irving in Hancock Park outside L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's house on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

The leader of an LAPD police unit makes his way through the crowd as people hold up signs at a Black Lives Matter protest in Hancock Park on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

A police officer holds a rubber bullet gun behind the scrimmage line on 6th Street during a protest outside L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's house on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

A group of police officers gather behind the scrimmage line on 6th Street during a Black Lives Matter protest outside of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's home. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

A helicopter roared overhead as thousands of people chanted George Floyd and Breonna Taylor's names during a demonstration in Hancock Park on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

Black Lives Matter activist Janaya Future Khan confronts police in front of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's house on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

People demonstrate against racism and police brutality at a protest in Hancock Park outside L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's house on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

Protestors sit and raise their fists in unison at a Black Lives Matter protest outside L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti's house on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

Protestors march together in Hancock Park on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. (Samanta Helou Hernandez for LAist)

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