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WATCH: LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Addresses Unrest. Curfew From 8 PM to 5:30 AM Now Citywide

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In what fellow city leaders called an "extraordinary step," L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said a curfew will be in place in downtown, from 8 p.m. tonight to 5:30 a.m. Sunday. Within a few hours, that order was extended the rest of the city as demonstrations and looting continued in other areas.

Before announcing the downtown curfew in an afternoon address, Garcetti asked everyone on the streets to "take a step back" to allow for peaceful protests to continue once order is restored. He said protestors should "go home" until the violence subsides, citing vandalism and the burning of police cars.

In expanding the curfew citywide. he said he would "always protect Angelenos’ right to make their voices heard — and we can lead the movement against racism without fear of violence or vandalism.”

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In a news release, Garcetti said the curfew is intended to protect the safety of peaceful protesters and "the safety of all who live and work in our city.”

Earlier, in a live speech as the fourth day of violent protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis grew more intense, the mayor noted the high price paid in the city of angels for previous destruction during historic moments of civil unrest.

He referenced the police beating of Rodney King and said he believed L.A. had a lot to teach other cities in crisis:

"With liberty comes responsibility, to be able to peacefully, peacefully protest. We cannot, though, protect our ability to protect life when we see people are looting. We cannot protect our ability to protect life when we see fires set in dense urban areas that not only endanger firefighters, but could put buildings or residents up in flames. And we've seen this before in Los Angeles. When the violence escalates, no one wins."

Unlike leaders in many other cities, including Minneapolis, Garcetti said he believes the majority of protesters on L.A.'s streets were from L.A.

"I don't think we have the narrative of other cities that this is coming from other places," he said. "This is all of us. So it's on all of us."

Garcetti said be believed "99%" of the people protesting "are outraged, should be outraged, and are peacefully protesting, exercising their constitutional rights."

He warned that anyone causing mayhem should be "prepared to meet with the law, be prepared to meet the price" and said everyone working for change "should be just as angry at those folks for changing the conversation."

"So everyone has to be responsible for owning this moment," he said, specifying that he meant both protesters and law enforcement officers. "I'm asking all of us to take a step back."

Councilman Curren Price, who represents South L.A., called imposing a curfew an "extraordinary step."

He noted South L.A. had not seen acts of violence, but said he mourned the losses in downtown overnight and the damage being done in mid-city today.

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"We can do better than that. We are better than that," Price said. "These are challenging times, these are tough times, frustrating times. But we have to channel that energy... and focus on making things better."


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