City News Service and Staff Report
Los Angeles’ top law enforcement officials say that they are ready to call on the National Guard for help as they brace for protests over the upcoming verdict in the trial of a former Minnesota police officer charged with murdering George Floyd and another recent police killing in that state.
“We are inquiring with all our law enforcement partners as to their state of readiness, which includes contingency planning with the National Guard,” said Capt. John Satterfield, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“Sheriff Alex Villanueva is a strong supporter of the First Amendment and the people’s right to protest, but if these actions become violent or shift into lawlessness, swift and decisive action will be taken to protect life, protect property, and maintain order in a fair, firm and impartial manner,” Satterfield said.
Last June hundreds marched through West Hollywood in ongoing protests against George Floyd’s killing. Many that were gathered said they were a part of the LGBTQ community and were marching in solidarity with the black community.
Saying authorities are in the “planning phase,” Satterfield said it
would be premature to say how many Guard troops would be ready to deploy.
This week, law enforcement officials and community leaders have urged calm amid rising tensions in Minnesota amid the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin and the weekend fatal police shooting of a Black man during a traffic stop in that city.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore, along with Villanueva and about
two dozen religious and community leaders, have pleaded for calm locally and urged anyone who opts to protest to do so peacefully.
“All of us will do all within our power to support and facilitate these expressions within our community,” Moore said. “As one community, our Los Angeles community, we must also strive to not allow legitimate anger and frustration to spiral into violence, or allow others to hijack community
emotions for their own destructive purposes.”
The call for calm comes as testimony continues in the trial of
Chauvin, who is accused of murder for kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine
minutes while arresting him for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill last
Memorial Day. Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests, including in the
Moore said that he too was prepared to call on the National Guard “if that becomes necessary.”
The pleas for calm came after a police officer fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, amMinneapolis suburb. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon — who resigned on
Tuesday — said Monday that the officer intended to use a Taser, not a firearm,
and that he believed the shooting of the Black man was an “accidental
The death reignited tensions in the Minneapolis area, where protesters
once again took to the streets to demand racial justice as they did
following the death of Floyd.
Authorities around Minneapolis and elsewhere were already on alert as
Chauvin’s trial on manslaughter and murder charges nears an end following
nearly two weeks of testimony.