In wake of protests, City of Los Angeles charges seven people
Thousands of protesters arrested, sporadic looting, fires. But so far, only seven people in the City of Los Angeles have been charged with serious offenses resulting from last weekend’s demonstrations over the May 25 killing of George Floyd.
The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office produced a list of seven suspects it had charged with offenses from trespassing to looting and burglary. According to Rob Wilcox, director of outreach for the City Attorney Mike Feuer, the seven represent only the people so far whom “the LAPD has managed to track down and the attorney’s office has filed criminal charges against.”
Though only seven charges have been filed so far, the large-scale protests against police brutality that began on May 29 over the killing of Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked the largest mobilization by the Los Angeles Police Department in recent memory. Officers from neighboring police departments were called in to assist and by Sunday morning, May 31, the National Guard was patrolling commercial strips like Fairfax Ave., where looting had occurred the night before.
It is still unclear how many people were detained by officers during several days of protests. LAPD Chief Michel Moore said during a Police Commission meeting on June 2 that his department detained 2,500 people in connection with the demonstrations. Most of those arrests, according to a police official, were for violating the curfew order that was hastily put in place on May 30 and remained for the several days. Most were detained for several hours before being released.
However, the LAPD has yet to disclose exactly how many people it actually detained. On Monday afternoon, an officer with the LAPD’s public information office said the department still had not processed all the records.
Though it is possible more charges could be filed, the vast majority of those arrested are unlikely to face any criminal or financial penalties. On Monday, Feuer, the city attorney, announced that he would pursue a process “outside the courts” to deal with those arrested for curfew violations.
Moore, the LAPD chief, has come under widespread criticism for the way his department handled the demonstrations. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, on behalf of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, filed a suit alleging that the mass arrests stifled First Amendment rights. In addition, footage emerged of LAPD officers striking protestors with batons. Meanwhile, some store owners are upset that police appear to have taken a hands-off approach to preventing some of the looting.