Undeterred by the LAPD’s attack on protesters Sunday, Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles and allies resumed their daily Block Garcetti action this week outside of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s home.
Challenging Garcetti’s rumored appointment to serve the incoming Biden Administration, Tuesday marks the 15th day that organizers have gathered outside of the mayor’s home. Biden’s transition team announced Garcetti as a co-chair of the inauguration.
Police allegedly rushed the crowd Sunday because of a participant using a bullhorn in violation of the city’s noise ordinance, the Los Angeles Times reports. Despite the presence of children, LAPD charged protesters with batons as people in the crowd yelled for de-escalation.
Video captured of the scene Sunday showed officers aggressively engaging with participants, knocking some people down. Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council member Jamie Penn was the only arrest reported. Penn served as a medic during the protest and was reportedly shielding an older participant from getting harmed when police moved in. Per reports, police did not arrest the person with the bullhorn.
LAPD’s actions Sunday were denounced across social media, with several elected officials weighing in.
In the aftermath of the police incursion, Melina Abdullah said Garcetti was responsible for the aggressive action. Abdullah, a professor of Pan-African studies and leader with Black Lives Matter-LA, challenged protesters to return the next day. Black Lives Matter – Los Angeles was joined Monday by various grassroots groups and allies including members of Roofers Local 36 Los Angeles. One person held a sign Monday that simply read “Attacks on Activist Despicable!”
“In Los Angeles, despite the veneer of progressivism, is a brutal police force that puts targets on the backs of Black people,” said Abdullah, speaking before a crowd Monday morning. She said the unhoused population increased 42% during Garcetti’s tenure.
Concerns raised about Garcetti’s involvement in the Biden Administration echo objections over the rumored appointment of former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emannuel. Protesters call Garcetti the worst mayor in the United States.
“I want us to remember that when we talk about violent white supremacy, it also comes in liberal forms,” Abdullah said.
Earlier this summer, Black Lives Matter – Los Angeles challenged Garcetti to support the People’s Budget, a proposal that would cut the LAPD budget by 90% and invest in necessary community services. Garcetti expressed concern over police killings this summer just as he approved a $1.86 billion to the LAPD earlier this year.
Meanwhile, newly elected Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon announced several criminal justice reforms as he was sworn in Monday. In a letter to police across the county, Gascon put officers on notice he had a “profound intolerance” for dishonest officers. A former LAPD police officer, Gascon called for an end to cash bail for certain nonviolent offenses and misdemeanors. Gascon announced he would not pursue the death penalty in any murder cases.
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