Black Lives Matter LA Protest Images Recognized By Smithsonian Magazine

Matt Stasi's award-winning photo from a Black Lives Matter protest in Los Angeles. (Matt Stasi)

A West L.A. photographer is among the winners of the prestigious Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest, for the photos he took documenting the Black Lives Matter protests across L.A. in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

Matt Stasi said he could feel the urgency of the community coming through the lens as he captured the images on the streets last summer.

"Everyone wanted justice for what was going on, what is going on," he said. "It was just powerful to see everyone coming together — that was the one thing that really really stood out."

Stasi recently won recognition for a black-and-white photo he captured of a Hollywood protester named Guy Peel, wearing a mask bearing the words, I can't breathe.

"It was a raw nerve, so I was capturing a lot of anger, a lot of pain after hundreds of years of people being marginalized, and that's an understatement," Stasi said.

A Black Lives Matter protest. (Matt Stasi)
A Black Lives Matter protest. (Matt Stasi)
A Black Lives Matter protest. (Matt Stasi)
A Black Lives Matter protest. (Matt Stasi)
A Black Lives Matter protest. (Matt Stasi)