LA Mayor Calls for National Guard Help: 'This is NOT a Protest - it's Destruction'
Eric Garcetti says it is 'no longer a protest - this is vandalism'
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has deployed the California National Guard to Los Angeles overnight as the nation's second-largest city faces another night of rioting in response to the death of George Floyd.
"The California National Guard is being deployed to Los Angeles overnight to support our local response to maintain peace and safety on the streets of our city," Garcetti said late Saturday night on Twitter.
The California National Guard is being deployed to Los Angeles overnight to support our local response to maintain peace and safety on the streets of our city.— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) May 31, 2020
Earlier on Saturday, Garcetti was dismissive of seeking National Guard aid.
As the protests intensified Saturday, however, the mayor requested that California Gov. Gavin Newsom activate the force.
Speaking with local media Saturday night, Garcetti declared: “This is no longer a protest - This is destruction. This is vandalism.”
Garcetti’s comments came just after he imposed a citywide curfew, requiring residents of Los Angeles to “stay indoors” starting at 8 p.m. until 5:30 a.m. Sunday.
“I will always protect Angelenos’ right to make their voices heard — and we can lead the movement against racism without fear of violence or vandalism,” Garcetti said in a statement Saturday.
“The vast majority of people taking to the streets are doing it peacefully, powerfully, and with reverence for the sacred cause they’re fighting for,” he continued.
“This curfew is in place to protect their safety — and the safety of all who live and work in our city.”
Garcetti’s decision came amid large protests in Los Angeles on Saturday and following rioting earlier in the week.
In L.A., rioters on Wednesday night at one point were seen burning an upside-down American flag.
The protests and riots broke out across the nation after Floyd died in Minneapolis police custody Monday.
An employee at a grocery store called the police and accused Floyd of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.
Floyd, who is black, was then arrested and handcuffed by Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, and pushed to the ground.
Chauvin and three other officers were fired Tuesday in connection with Floyd's death, then Chauvin was arrested Friday on murder and manslaughter charges.
A cell phone video shows Floyd’s head is turned to the side and he does not appear to be resisting.
Chauvin had his knee pressed to the back of Floyd’s neck for several minutes as Floyd is seen gasping for air and begging Chauvin to stop. He does not.
Bystanders say they also heard shouting at Chauvin to take his knee off of Floyd’s neck.
Floyd, 46, died in police custody Monday night.
Chauvin was charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Minnesota.