When The City Got Loud

Published Sep 22, 2020

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The stay at home orders put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 turned Los Angeles into a quiet, empty city. This silence would soon be broken by the roar of thousands demanding accountability for the death of another Black American at the hands of the police.

Protests and unrest spread across the nation after a harrowing video went viral showing white Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knees down on George Floyd's neck killing him in the process. For 8 min and 46 seconds Chauvin held his knees on Floyd's neck while Floyd called out for his mother, and begged for his life.

In the following weeks and days thousands would hit the streets of Los Angeles demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the many other Black Americans who have died at the hands of the police.

Demands to defund the police would take center stage in the discourse around city budgets, and chants of "black lives matter" would pierce through the city's silence.

A reckoning was happening, in government, corporations, newsrooms, and in our daily lives. Forcing us to rethink the role of law enforcement in our society.

LAist has been out capturing this moment, and hearing what the city has to say.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Two women hold a DIY banner stating that "being black is not a crime, murder is" in front of a police skirmish line during a protest in Santa Monica on May 31.

(Josie Huang/LAist)

People protest the death of George Floyd in the Fairfax District on Saturday, May 30, 2020

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Protesters at City Hall, on the morning of June 6, 2020.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

On Wednesday, May 27, black Lives Matter organized a protest against the death of George Floyd in front of LA's Hall of Justice that quickly poured out into the streets and eventually onto the 101 freeway.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A sign at a protest in front of City Hall reads "Racism- The Real Pandemic."

(Giuliana Mayo/LAist)

Demonstrators take a knee during a protest in Hollywood on Tuesday, June 2.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Protestors hold a banner reading "#arrestthepolice" while marching through downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 27.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Protestors pass near City Hall on Wednesday, May 27 during a protest against the death of George Floyd in Mineapolis.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

Black Lives Matter Activist Jenaya Future Khan speaks to a crowd of thousands at the Black Lives Matter March on June 7, 2020.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A woman chants while holding a sign reading "How many black lives will they kill?" at a Black Lives Matter protest.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Protesters chanted at police to take a knee with them in front of L.A. City Hall on Thursday, June 4, 2020.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Hundreds of protestors rallying against the death of George Floyd stop traffic on the 101 freeway, Wednesday, May 27.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Protestors Climb onto the center divider on the 101 freeway at a rally against the death of George Floyd.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Protestors hold hands and create a blockade on the freeway Wednesday during a protest against the death of George Floyd.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Two women talking during a protest against the death of George Floyd in Downtown Los Angeles.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Protestors crowd around a street near city hall in downtown Los Angeles.

Mike Roe/LAist)

Protestors gather outside Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti's house, in the Hancock Park neighborhood, on the afternoon of 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.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Joseph Williams of Black Lives Matter LA leads a protest against Jackie Lacey and Police Brutality through downtown Los Angeles in late May.

(Josie Huang/LAist)

Actor Kendrick Sampson protests the death of George Floyd at a rally in Pan Pacific Park near the Fairfax District on Saturday, May 30, 2020

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Jenna Nolen, an actress and activist, leads a group of protestors in chants while marching through West Hollywood.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A BLM supporter in an SUV hangs out the car window raising their fist in solidarity with others protesting police brutality.

(Emily Elena Dugdale/LAist)

Protestors in Hollywood near Sunset and Vine on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Protestors raise their fists in the air during a Protests against Police Brutality on June 5.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Jonno, a BLM supporter, came out to ride in front of the protestors and help them cross the streets as they march through Hollywood.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

People clap and cheer as organizers speak at a protest against police brutality in downtown Los Angeles.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

People aboard a metro bus during a protest in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles on May 30.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A protestor chants along with a crowd during a protest against police brutality in West Hollywood.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

People stop to look at a George Floyd Memorial Mural painted on a boarded up business in downtown Los Angeles.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A different kind of protest took place in South Central Los Angeles on Western Ave. A group of over 400 people showed up to clean a stretch of South Central between Florence and Manchester. Organizer Diamond Jones grew up in South central and wanted to show her support for the Black community by helping clean up her neighborhood.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Tanisha Jackson, who grew up in South Central, passes out trash bags to the participants.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

The clean up gets underway and people start to disperse along Western Avenue.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Groups of supporters clean graffiti off of walls along Western Avenue.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Once the clean up was over everyone threw their trash bags into a truck before heading to grab food from one of the black owned food trucks in this Ralphs parking lot.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A protestor holds a sign reading "Happy Birthday Breonna, you will get justice." A protest was held in front of City Hall on what would have been Breonna's 27th Birthday.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A protestor sits with a large banner reading "Defund LAPD."

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A group of protestors pray in front of City Hall.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Anthony Pittman has been attending the protest for over a week. He says he paints to help deal with things. On June 5, Anthony brought his paints to grand park as a way to protest.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

Two men sit on the roof of a car raising their fists in the air while holding a painting of George Floy's face.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

Rapper YG caravans with Black Lives Matter's activists through Hollywood on Sunday June 7. This protest in Hollywood has been called the largest protests for racial justice in Los Angeles's history.

(Lexis-Olivier Ray for LAist)

Magic Castle came under fire after they allowed LAPD to use their space as a staging ground. Protestors gathered outside the gates.

(Lexis-Olivier Ray for LAist)

Robert Ramirez, Magic Castle member who organized a protest at the Magic Castle, stands in front of the venue on Thursday, June 4, 2020.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

The annual pride parade in West Hollywood was cancelled this year. Instead pride went back to it's roots as a protest, and the All Black Lives Matter rally had protesters marching from Hollywood to West Hollywood. The traditional nexus for L.A.'s gay community and the annual L.A. Pride celebration.

(Chava Sanchez/KPCC)

The event has a dual purpose: to honor the lives of Black queer and trans people who have been killed by the police, and to drum up support for Black Lives Matter's demands to defund the police and prosecute more officers.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

Calls for defunding the police became calls for removing the police from Schools as people began to question what role police played in their childrens educational development.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Cache Jones and her daughter attend a June 16 protest urging officials to defund L.A. School Police. Cache says her daughter, a kindergartener, has already faced unjust treatment at her school to such an extent that she moved her to a different district.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

Alexis M, a sixth grader at LAUSD, wants to feel safer at his school and would rather go to a school without a police presence.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Protestors marching through the streets were initially met by a militirized police force, and escalation soon followed.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A fully Armored Santa Monica Police officer shouts at protestors to move away. Things quickly escalated after somebody began throwing bottles at a police squad car. Fully armored sheriffs and police officers arrived with an armored vehicle and a water canon and began dispersing the crowd with a water canon.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A police Squad Car burns on the corner of Fairfax and Beverly.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

4th and Santa Monica on Sunday, May 31, 2020, where things quickly escalated after somebody began throwing bottles at a police squad car. Fully armored sheriffs and police officers arrived with an armored vehicle and a water canon and began dispersing the crowd with a water canon.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Fully Armored Police in Santa Monica disperse crowds with non lethal projectiles.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Armed police disperse the crowd.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Law enforcement squared off against protesters in Santa Monica at 5th and Broadway on Sunday, May 31, 2020.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

Police fire projectiles at the protestors.

(Frank Stoltze/LAist)

People steal from a footlocker in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday May 30th. Curfews were put in place all across the county and many where arrested.

(Frank Stoltze/LAist)

People arrested by LAPD officers board an L.A. Metro bus amid protests downtown in L.A. on Saturday, May 30, 2020.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A Justice for George sign at Saturday May 30th's protest against police brutality.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A man holds a sign reading "Justice for George Floyd" near the entrance to the 101 freeway at a protest against the death of George Floyd.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A protestor gets water poured into his eyes after tear gas was deployed on protestors in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles.

(Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

US Marine Veteran Devis Sejas was shot in the head by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies while protesting the death of Andres Guardado at the hands of deputies.

(Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

Hundreds of people spent their Father's Day marching from the auto body shop where 18-year-old Andres Guardado was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy last week to the Compton Sheriff's station were that deputy is based.

(Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

A demonstrator assumes a position typical of suspects before arrest in protest of of the death of Andrews Guardado. Hundreds of people spent their Father's Day marching from the auto body shop where 18-year-old Andres Guardado was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy last week to the Compton Sheriff's station were that deputy is based.

(Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

Hundreds of people spent their Father's Day marching from the auto body shop where 18-year-old Andres Guardado was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy last week to the Compton Sheriff's station were that deputy is based.

(Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

Hundreds of people spent their Father's Day marching from the auto body shop where 18-year-old Andres Guardado was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy last week to the Compton Sheriff's station were that deputy is based.

(Brian Feinzimer for LAist)

Community members hang out during a protest for the death of 18-year-old Andres Guardado who was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy last week.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

Celebrations of Juneteenth -- the anniversary of the day in 1865 that slaves in Texas finally learned they were free -- were bigger than ever this year. Hundreds congregated in Leimert park village to sing, dance, and hold space for one another other. This event was a celebration of Black pride, but the underlying message was centered on a darker side of American history. Messages about police brutality from past several weeks of protests, could be seen all over the festival.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

Jamaea Martin and Shane Smith said they'd always felt honored to celebrate Juneteenth because it's such an Important Holiday for the Black community, and they are happy that other communities are finally recognizing Juneteenth and the oppression Black people face.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

A caravan drove around Leimert park during the Juneteenth celebration holding signs in support of Black Lives Matter.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

A woman dances as a DJ plays music during Leimert Park's Juneteenth celebration.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

A group of attendees dance druing Leimert Park's Juneteenth Celebration.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

Images of George Floyd where everywhere, from vendors selling t-shirts to art along the walls.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

Attendees look at art displayed on the street at the Leimert Part Juneteenth celebration.

(Chava Sanchez/ LAist)

An alter set up in Leimert Park to honor Black folks who have died recently.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

A mural depicting George Floyd is painted on a boarded up window in front of a store in Little Tokyo.

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