Thousands of protesters rally at L.A. Mayor Garcetti’s official residence

CENTRAL LOS ANGELES — A police helicopter flew overhead as approximately 2,000 protesters rallied in front of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s official residence, the Getty House, in Windsor Square to demand change in the policing system Tuesday evening.

Led by Black Lives Matters’ Los Angeles chapter, the event saw people of different ages and ethnicities in unity as they held up signs with messages demanding action from Garcetti and L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

“Chant down Babylon, Black people are the bomb, we ready, yeah fuck Garcetti,” protesters chanted in front of the mayor’s home.

The organizers explained to the protesters that Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd were a few examples of many instances of police brutality in our nation.

According to L.A. Times’ homicide report, 15 people have died in officer-involved shootings in L.A. County since 2019.

A Black Lives Matter member, who did not give his name, shared stories about how LAPD has negatively affected his life. He described the school-to-prison pipeline and said his first run-in with the police came at the age of 11.

“I was 11, my crime was horseplay. I was arrested at 13 years old for leaving to get a haircut before school ended. I was chokeslammed and arrested again at 14 years old for speaking during an assembly,” he said. “This is what L.A. has chosen to spend our money on.”

Unlike other protests over the last week, Black Lives Matter L.A. organized this protest with three demands for non-Black allies and the Los Angeles Police Department.

Melina Abdullah, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter L.A. chapter, read the demands aloud.

The first demand was for white people to “stop calling the police on Black people for simply living.”

She then explained the importance of organization for a protest to be successful. The second demand was for more people to join an organization like Black Lives Matter to create a structure for protests.

Finally, she called for a defunding of the policing system as a whole and the removal of Jackie Lacey and Eric Garcetti from their positions in office. The crowd then cheered and chanted, “Defund police, defund police.”

Rochelle Smith, a local protester, explained that she was there because Black people deserve change.

“It’s time for all people to stand up and be together,” Smith said.