Protesters gathered in Santa Monica on Sunday in another day of unrest over the killing of George Floyd, leading to a citywide curfew to take effect at 4 p.m.
Demonstrations have surfaced in areas of L.A. including downtown and the Fairfax District in recent days. On Saturday, Sky5 was overhead as Santa Monica police arrived to the area of Colorado and Santa Monica boulevards, near the pier.
The city said the curfew will be in place until 5:30 a.m. Monday and will not apply to emergency responders or people commuting to and from work.
Protesters marched along a stretch of Ocean Avenue that runs alongside where the Pacific Coast Highway meets the 10 Freeway. At 2:20 p.m., a row of police officers stood at the entrance to the Santa Monica Pier as people gathered in front of a barricade before them.
Several dozen people, possibly hundreds, were seen walking peacefully through the northbound lanes of Ocean Avenue while a few cars passed through the southbound lanes around 2 p.m.
About a half hour earlier, near 4th Street and Broadway, some people broke into a Van’s shoe store while Sky5 overhead. It’s unclear if they were there for the demonstrations. At the Converse store, in the 3rd Street Promenade, a window was broken as people looted the store. Some were seen running from one area of the shopping center about 3 p.m.
“I think what scares me about this is that, usually, they wait until dark and then you see the looting,” L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger told KTLA.
By 2:30 p.m., a row of Santa Monica officers wearing helmets stood before an area of Ocean Avenue where protesters were marching earlier. A uniformed officer could be seen holding a large gun, his upper body seen emerging from the roof of a black police tactical vehicle.
A handful of police vehicles were seen behind the officers standing on Ocean Avenue.
Saturday’s protests centered in the Fairfax District were a more chaotic sight, with some climbing onto buildings and a police car going up in flames. But advocates have condemned the violence, and Mayor Eric Garcetti described peaceful protests as being “hijacked” by others.
“Those people out there are demonstrating for something that is very valid,” Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar told KTLA Sunday morning after penning an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times. It was titled “Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge” and published Saturday evening amid continuing protests in some parts of L.A.
“The idea that all men are created equal is not really applied to our justice system,” Abdul-Jabbar told KTLA.
Anticipating a fifth night of protests, the cities of Culver City, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and L.A. joined Santa Monica in declaring a curfew Sunday.