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Church Leader, Councilman, Sheriff Call For Peace Amid Protests

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and other community leaders called for peace Saturday as protesters continued to damage property while advocating against police brutality, spurred by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Even as City of Refuge Church Bishop Noel Jones asked his fellow Angelenos to stop the violence, law enforcement vehicle sirens nearly overpowered his voice Saturday.

"This is an all-too-familiar experience, and our suffering is real," said Noel, a Jamaican-American Pentecostal bishop. "But violence is not the solution. Coming across the aisle of our separation and the paradoxes that create the problems that fuel these types of outbursts, that is the remedy that we have to find that sustains peace."

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz said he was angered by the videos of Floyd's death, and wants people to listen to the protesters, but he said destroying property would not help solve the tensions.

"I am absolutely heartbroken over the senseless and vicious death of George Floyd," Koretz said "That these kinds of terrible incidents still take place in the USA is devastating. Black lives do matter, and this shouldn't be happening anywhere in our country …

"However, the violence and looting we saw last night was no less troubling," Koretz said. "Physical attacks upon innocent residents, efforts to set residential buildings filled with people on fire, and destroying millions of dollars in property was reprehensible as well. I have no sympathy or tolerance for such actions."

Koretz said he asked the Los Angeles Police Department to be "completely supportive of peaceful protest, but to clamp down on criminal actions" should they occur.

"Justice means all offending officers involved in the George Floyd incident are charged and arrested," Councilman Joe Buscaino said in a statement. "Peace cannot exist without justice. We don't have peace in America because justice continues to be unequal in America."

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva also encouraged residents to have faith and patience in the justice system's handling of the Floyd case.

"Every chief of police … throughout the nation expects the same thing, and justice will be served, but we have to have patience while the justice is served," he said, noting that his deputies are working alongside the LAPD to protect the peace.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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