Hundreds of protesters halted traffic on the 101 Freeway near Union Station in downtown Los Angeles while protesting the use of force over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Black Lives Matter protesters took to the freeway near the Alameda exit after the videotaped in-custody death of George Floyd, who died after an officer kneeled on his neck over a forged check claim. Floyd was heard on the video saying, "Please, I can't breathe."
When a CHP patrol car arrived, demonstrators surrounded it. The cruiser attempted to move through the crowd, and as it did, protesters hopped on the hood. The car's back window was smashed by a skateboard, and the officer behind the wheel accelerate while demonstrators clung to the hood.
A second CHP car arrived, and one demonstrator hurled what appeared to be a board at the window.
One man was injured, and protesters surrounded him and others formed a line across the lanes to prevent traffic from moving forward.
Firefighters then arrived and took the man away on a gurney. He was upright and raised one hand in a salute or protest. He was expected to be evaluated at a hospital.
By 6:25 p.m., protesters began moving off the freeway and dispersing.
The crowd continued moving through downtown LA streets, and was mostly dispersed by 7:30 p.m. Most demonstrators weren't wearing masks or following social distancing suggestions aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Shortly after 9 p.m., as police tried to disperse the remaining crowd, a driver hit a protester and fled the scene, causing enormous confusion and a stampede among the crowd. The driver has not been arrested, and the victim was not seriously hurt.
The LAPD was reportedly on tactical alert during the protest, meaning any officers who were set to clock out were to remain on duty.
The protest was organized by the group Black Lives Matter-LA. At its peak, hundreds of people gathered outside the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice.
The demonstration lasted for several hours and was mostly peaceful. No arrests were immediately made, Los Angeles police Officer Mike Lopez said.
The gathering coincides with a large protest in Minneapolis following George Floyd's in-custody death, captured on camera by a witness who, along with other witnesses, plead with the officer to get off of Floyd's neck, who was not resisting.
In a statement, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said the actions in the video were “incredibly disturbing and go against the basic law enforcement principle of preservation of life." He said they showed lack of compassion and use of excessive force.
Authorities' main concern is that these protests will most likely continue in the coming days. The LAPD reported that a new protest was announced for Saturday, but they say they're prepared for everything to be carried out peacefully.
Gabriel Huerta contributed to this report.