Protesters demonstrating over the death of George Floyd blocked both sides of the 101 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday evening, according to local reports.
Floyd died Monday in Minneapolis shortly after a police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest. Video footage of the arrest showed Floyd repeating that he couldn’t breathe during the incident. He later died at a local hospital.
Video footage reported by NBC Los Angeles shows crowds blocking the freeway.
A California highway patrol car is seen driving through the crowd as several protesters cling to the hood of the vehicle, in video footage reported by the outlet.
Video: During Black Lives Matter protest on the 101 Freeway, a CHP cruiser tries to pull through the crowd before accelerating with people on the hood. https://t.co/LChcoUzGJ3 pic.twitter.com/Sfgpl6QKrR— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) May 27, 2020
ABC 7 reported that some protesters surrounded a highway patrol cruiser and as the cruiser tried to escape, and someone smashed the back window with a skateboard.
An estimated 500 to 1,000 people participated in the event, which began near City Hall and then marched through downtown, according to the ABC report.
Los Angeles Chief of Police Michel Moore tweeted a statement Wednesday evening calling the video of Floyd’s arrest “incredibly disturbing.” The statement did not directly address the protests happening in downtown L.A.
“The actions I watched in the video were incredibly disturbing and go against the basic law enforcement principle of preservation of life. The lack of compassion, use of excessive force, or going beyond the scope of the law, doesn’t just tarnish our badge - it tears at the very fabric of race relations in this country,” he said in the tweeted statement.
“Knowing that we have experienced our own high profile incidents here in Los Angeles, I can assure you the LAPD strives each day to build trust and these events are sobering reminders of how quickly that can be lost,” he added.
The protest in California follows others that occurred in the wake of Floyd's death.
Protesters marched through the streets of Minneapolis's Powderhorn neighborhood on Tuesday.
Demonstrators reportedly smashed windows of the Minneapolis Police Department's 3rd Precinct and were met by officers in riot gear who shot tear gas and rubber bullets at them.
Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarPhotos of the Week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea turtles Omar to accept award Saturday as American Muslim Public Servant of 2021 GOP infighting takes stupid to a whole new level MORE (D-Minn.) condemned law enforcement for using rubber bullets and tear gas on the crowds protesting Floyd's death.
The four Minneapolis officers involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired Tuesday after the video of the arrest emerged.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) called for the officer seen kneeling on Floyd to be arrested.
"Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?" Frey said during a press conference Wednesday. "If you had done it or I had done it, we would be behind bars right now."
Floyd’s sister, Bridgett Floyd, also called for the officers involved in her brother’s arrest to face murder charges.
“They murdered my brother,” she said on NBC’s “Today.” “He was crying for help.”