Protesters standoff with National Guard in front of City Hall

Logan Bik

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — In downtown L.A., protesters called for a peaceful protest and chanted, “No looting, no graffiti.”

As the group of approximately 1,000 protesters approached the steps of L.A. City Hall at 5:00 p.m., officers from the Los Angeles Police Department stood on steps behind the National Guard as the peaceful demonstrators chanted, “George Floyd.”

A group of men, who identified themselves as House Plan, was passing out pizza and water from the back of their pick up truck as demonstrators were approaching City Hall. They expressed the importance of supporting other Angelenos through this difficult time.

“This is our house, that’s why we’re here,” House Plan said. “We gotta take care of our people.”

The protesters congregated and took a knee and held a moment of silence in honor of George Floyd.

Following that, LAPD Captain Billy Brockway spoke with the protesters, who wanted to have a peaceful conversation.

“Today was beautiful. People came and had their time and were peaceful. We need to have more conversations as a part of the healing process,” Brockway said.

Captain Brockway said the National Guard was there to protect LAPD officers after days of violence.

“I can’t have my men and women hit with rocks. (On Saturday) we had 11 police cruisers destroyed, totaling out to $1.1 million in damage,” Brockway said.

An additional 1100 National Guard members were deployed throughout the state on Monday, bringing the total to 4, 500 National Guard members in the state according to California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Most of the crowd in downtown left as the county-wide 6 p.m. curfew approached, with roughly 100 people that stayed to see what would happen.

A group of five Black men expressed the importance of being out, even if it was past curfew. One of them wanted to be identified as Tokyo Revenge.

“You can only be so nice. The National Guard is just a scare tactic. We don’t want to return to normality, that means we failed,” Tokyo Revenge said.

After roughly 30 minutes after curfew, the protesters approached the National Guard and LAPD while chanting and asking them to take a knee. Neither did.

As the protesters began to get frustrated, they approached a small group of National Guard members. There were small conversations between protesters and the National Guard members, which eventually led to a hug between a National Guard member and a protester.

Curfews are continued to be enforced throughout the state.

In L.A. County, the curfew is from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. According to the L.A. County sheriff’s department, individuals traveling to and from work, individuals seeking medical treatment, people experiencing homelessness and without access to a viable shelter and credentialed members of the media involved in media gathering are exempted from the curfew; Police officers, National Guard, and other military personnel are exempt from the curfew as well.