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A police officer was attacked in downtown Los Angeles as protesters descended on him when he tried to make an arrest during marches and demonstrations.
The melee caught on video showed an intense moment as protesters in the Pershing Square area physically assaulted a police officer trying to detain someone. The officer could be seen being kicked and grabbed by the mob until what appears to be a Good Samaritan intervened to pull him out of the thick of it.
While no official reports detailed what transpired at the scene, it appeared police officers were trying to subdue suspects when one protester seemed to throw some type of liquid, prompting an officer to give chase. But once the officer had grabbed the man, others began trying to pull him off and fight with him.
An up-close video showed the heated exchange, highlighting the tensions between law enforcement and those demonstrating the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis who died in police custody.
Other views of the same incident were also captured on video.
Protesters in LA just beat up a cop that was trying to arrest someone pic.twitter.com/IvS0iiHSB1
— Josh Albert (@jpegjoshua) May 30, 2020
Protests began in Minneapolis over the death of Floyd, who was seen in the widely-shared video repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe,” while a white officer, Derek Chauvin, kept his knee pressed against his neck. Chauvin was fired along with three other officers involved in the incident. On Friday, he was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
As the Minnesota protests became more violent and began to spill out in other major cities in the nation this week, the Los Angeles Police Department was placed on tactical alert Friday.
“While the vast majority of individuals in Los Angeles have expressed those views in a peaceful manner, we have witnessed an increasing level of violence and property damage committed by a small number of detractors,” the LAPD said in a statement, according to City News Service.
“We stand with our communities and rebuke any instance of police brutality as well as acts of violence or property damage,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said.
Protests occurred outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters and City Hall, other demonstrators blocked a highway and marches were reportedly organized by Black Lives Matter. And while many reports claimed that the demonstrations were mostly peaceful, there were several incidents of vandalism, protesters throwing objects at law enforcement and even journalists who were attacked.
KNX-AM reporter Pete Demetriou shared footage from City Hall where hundreds had gathered and some people were “pinned in an arrest circle.”
— Pete Demetriou (@knxpete) May 30, 2020
Demetriou noted that the march “degenerated into blocking of Freeways, attacks on police and journalists and looting and vandalism.”
#LAProtests what started as peaceful march degenerated into blocking of Freeways, attacks on police and journalists and looting and vandalism. Weapons found on some of 300 “peaceful” marchers included knives, brass knuckles, bottles of urine, and a pepper ball gun. @KNX1070 pic.twitter.com/aQgdGco5xd
— Pete Demetriou (@knxpete) May 30, 2020
He also shared that he was attacked and punched before someone rescued him out of the crowd.
Pete Demetriou is a veteran JOURNALIST that should not be treated like this. None of the JOURNALISTS attacked tonight should be treated like this.
— Don P. (@polybi2) May 30, 2020
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