Los Angeles vigil for Tyre Nichols, Keenan Anderson turns into protest

Hours after authorities in Memphis, Tenn. released video of police beating Tire Nichols, a Friday night protest in downtown Los Angeles became tense, with LAPD officers in riot gear in a showdown with about 30 protesters before the Headquarters of the department remained.

At 10:15 p.m., insults and smoke of unexplained origin filled the air as protesters rocked and punched a police car with an officer inside.

About 100 people had gathered outside the Los Angeles Police Department Friday night after video of Nichols, who died three days later, was released on January 7.

The protest march grew out of a candlelight vigil for Nichols and Keenan Anderson, who died this month after LA police pinned him to the ground and fired a taser at him at least six times in 42 seconds.

The group burned sage and hung signs calling for the abolition of the police over barricades around LAPD headquarters. Less than an hour later, demonstrators tore down the metal barriers.

Before 8:00 p.m., a group rolled out a speaker and played some of the footage released by Memphis police earlier in the day, including the part where Nichols yelled for his mother.

A police officer wearing a hard hat stares at a crowd of protesters, some of whom are holding phones and cameras to record

Protesters confront police officers in downtown Los Angeles on Friday night.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

“You all heard him yell for his mama. Why? Because he ran home,” a woman told the crowd. Loud chants of “F – the police” and “Whose streets? Our streets!’ soon erupted.

Dozens of protesters and members of the media marched through downtown Los Angeles around 8:20 p.m. carrying Black Lives Matter banners and smartphones down Broadway toward Grand Central Market

After regrouping in front of LAPD headquarters, the protesters tore down protective metal barriers between the massive, square building and the street.

At 8:50 p.m., someone had spray-painted the word “kills” in red under the reflective letters that read “Los Angeles Police Department” on the front of his campus near City Hall.

police officers before the word "kills" spray painted under that "Los Angeles Police Department" sign

Police officers line up outside LAPD headquarters in downtown LA on Friday night.

(James Queally/Los Angeles Times)

Police officers with two-handed grips of black batons eyed protesters and reporters alike as Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” blared out.

By 9:15 p.m., more police officers had appeared, some in riot gear, and sirens could be heard along Main Street.

Shortly after 10 p.m., police officers in riot gear stood in a line facing the demonstrators, who yelled at them with phrases like “kill cops” and “how does it feel to be afraid for your life?”

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-01-27/los-angeles-vigil-protest-tyre-nichols-keenan-anderson Los Angeles vigil for Tyre Nichols, Keenan Anderson turns into protest

Alley Einstein

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