UPDATED with state of emergency declaration: As protests and looting spread across Los Angeles Saturday evening, Mayor Eric Garcetti asked California Gov. Gavin Newsom to send in the National Guard to help restore order amid unrest over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Newsom responded later in the night that he granted the National Guard request and was declaring a state of emergency in the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County. As many as 1,000 Guard personnel was expected to arrive in the region by midnight PT.
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At 8:29 p.m. PT, Garcetti posted a statement on Twitter, writing: “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.”
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
News of the National Guard being mobilized came after the city of L.A. imposed a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. requiring residents across the city to stay in their homes.
Garcetti announced the curfew after protesters clashed with officers outside the popular Farmer’s Market near the Grove. Police formed a skirmish line just after 2:30 p.m. as demonstrators took over the intersection of Third Street and Fairfax Avenue.
The crowd continued to grow as the hours passed and fires could be seen burning around the Grove. Some stores were looted and there were reports that protesters had gathered down the street and entered the Beverly Center.
There was also unrest in nearby Pan Pacific Park, with reports of police firing rubber bullets into crowds of protesters.
In downtown L.A., witnesses reported looting this evening at a Walgreens store at 4th and Hill streets.
For those depending on public transportation, Metro officials said all bus and rail service was being suspended for the rest of the night due to the city of L.A.’s curfew.
The neighboring cities of West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Culver City and Santa Monica also imposed curfews as protests spread across the region. As late as 12:30 AM Sunday, police and fire crews were finding pockets of looters in the streets, including at Melrose Avenue and Highland Avenue, where looters were ransacking the Melrose Mac store and the adjacent Mozza restaurants as local news helicopters caught the action from above.
All local news stations worked well past their normal news hours to cover the unrest, with Fox 11 the last to sign off around 12:45 AM.
Earlier in the day, demonstrators took over Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and the Alexander McQueen store in the glitzy shopping area was looted by masked protesters.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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