9.25.20 | 9:43 PM PDT | Hollywood, CA | Sunset Blvd
OVERVIEW – Breonna Taylor Justice Protesters – Hollywood – Day3
The “Justice for Breonna Taylor” Hollywood, CA, demonstrations this week commenced with renewed fury at American law enforcement/ judicial systems – this time evident in a Kentucky grand jury’s failure to initiate legal charges involving the killing of Breonna Taylor in a baseless no-knock break-in by Louisville Metro Police Department officers. Taylor – not guilty of any wrongdoing whatsoever – was fatally shot 8 times by LMPD officers on March 13, 2020.
Following a spate of relatively recent unresolved officer-involved killings of Black men in California, and arrests of the press and legal observers covering subsequent protests, emotions ran high this week as the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) butted heads with marchers whose protests nonviolently focused on demanding policy reforms to eliminate excessive force and racial inequities in law enforcement.
At least two separate hit-and-run incidents in the midst of this week’s Hollywood anti-racism justice and solidarity protests left two marchers hospitalized with serious injuries and others deeply traumatized by those attacks and also by brutal treatment from the LASD deputies whose arrest behaviors are seen on video.
Day 3 protesters at the West Hollywood protest location were confronted by LASD anti-riot teams as deputies aggressively apprehended protesters following an unlawful assembly declaration. The loud pops of exploding flash-bang grenades and gaseous respiratory irritants sent protesters, press, and legal observers fleeing to avoid arrest & assault. Eyewitnesses reported, as in weeks past, that LASD allowed inadequate time to disperse after giving the order to vacate the protest sites.
The LASD teams eventually stopped marchers at Sunset & San Vincente, arresting the drivers of two lead vehicles. Deputies heading north toward the Sunset protest location were filmed tackling and restraining demonstrators, then deliberately using the edges of a safety shield to beat a restrained protester. After the arrests, they were detained without their protective anti-virus masks, in close confinement for extended periods of time.
Investigations continue into alleged unwarranted LASD aggression committed during public protests; these and other alleged excessive violence incidents are also under review by the LASD Internal Affairs Bureau and the L.A. County Inspector General, Max Huntsman, among others.
The unresolved officer-involved suspicious shooting deaths of a number of Black California residents have continued to generate public protests in California cities despite the 2020 pandemic constraints. Black Americans are 2.5 times more likely than white Americans to be killed by law enforcement personnel. The crowdsourced public database Mapping Police Violence confirms the grim social landscape involving law enforcement.
A majority of Black Lives Matter-oriented (BLM) marchers are seen in the videos wearing protective masks to guard against Covid-19 contamination, a marked contrast to the mostly unmasked Make America Great Again (MAGA) marchers who demonstrate weekly in Beverly Hills. BLM volunteers are seen on video removing litter from protest sites this week, an adjunct public safety action augmenting their commitments to racially equitable nonviolence and law enforcement policy reforms.
Tonight’s protest materialized when several days ago a Louisville, KY, grand jury failed to indict the police officer who shot and killed Breonna Taylor during a March 13, 2020, no-knock raid on her home in the middle of the night. A charge of wanton endangerment, committed by one of the three policemen who led the attack on Taylor and her boyfriend, was the sole focus of the indictment handed down on Wednesday, addressing only stray bullet damage that struck windows and walls, endangering neighbors.
Taylor, a Black 26-year-old EMT, was subsequently proven to be innocent of any wrongdoing. The Louisville, KY, grand jury’s indictments did not address any legal consequences for the police officers’ actions involving Taylor’s death, sparking public protests of outrage in major cities across America.
Body cameras – routinely worn by Louisville Metro Police Department officers – were all found to be turned off at the time of the Taylor killing, contrary to LMPD policy. FBI and other highly publicized investigations are continuing into various alleged coverups involving the LMPD.
In the settlement made with Taylor’s family, the city of Louisville admitted no responsibility for Taylor’s death.
Video credits: LLN, Alien Alphabet, Scott Lane, @buffalobaff, @precious child, @cammylala, @ABC7, @KTLA, @CBS2, @CBS9, @CR Heeley, @JessicaRayEROG1,