PHOTOS: Downtown LA protesters face off with police over George Floyd’s death

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A demonstrator and their child raise their fists in the air in front of the federal prison in downtown LA during a rally. Credit: Brian Feinzimer for KCRW.

Demonstrators assembled in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday as part of national protests calling attention to the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man killed by police officers this week. Floyd, who is black, died after a white officer used his knee to hold the man to the ground.

The Los Angeles protest, organized by Black Lives Matter-LA, took place near the city's civic center.

KCRW photographer Brian Feinzimer was on the scene capturing images of the protest as it happened.

Demonstrators march with Black Lives Matter while rallying against police violence and the recent killing of George Floyd. Credit: Brian Feinzimer for KCRW.

"The gathering started with the ceremony of libations, where the names of victims of police violence were read aloud while attendees poured out liquid for each name," Feinzimer says. "After a brief period of rallying speeches, the group marched around the federal prison and then onto the Northbound side of the 101 freeway. Then they crossed over onto the Southbound side, temporarily stopping traffic on both sides of the freeway during rush hour."

Feinzimer saw two California Highway Patrol vehicles enter the freeway and position themselves directly in front of the hundreds of demonstrators swarming both sides of the freeway. The first of the two CHP cruisers was surrounded by demonstrators, he says. 

"After the rear window of the cruiser was broken by a demonstrator, the cruiser accelerated away, pushing its way through the crowd and with several demonstrators clung to the hood of the vehicle," says Feinzimer. "One man fell off the hood hitting his head and becoming unconscious on the side of the freeway as officers accelerated away." 

LAPD officers assemble to disperse demonstrators rallying in downtown LA against police violence and the recent killing of George Floyd. Credit: Brian Feinzimer for KCRW.

The injured man was surrounded by demonstrators who were rendering aid while the rest of the group formed a line across the freeway to stop traffic.

Feinzimer watched as paramedics arrived and transported the man, and who could be seen waving his hand in the air and smiling as he was loaded into an ambulance. "The demonstrators continued to rally outside the federal prison nearby," he says, "and smaller factions of demonstrators continued to move throughout the Civic Center area outside city hall and LAPD headquarters and over to Pershing square before dispersing around 10 p.m." 

As demonstrator numbers dwindled to below 50, Feinzimer says multiple teams of LAPD Metro division officers wearing riot gear were deployed to the largely peaceful demonstration.

Demonstrators with Black Lives Matter march in downtown LA against police violence and the recent killing of George Floyd. Credit: Brian Feinzimer for KCRW.
Demonstrators embrace each other while rallying against police violence and the recent killing of George Floyd. Credit: Brian Feinzimer for KCRW.
A demonstrator who fell off the hood of a CHP vehicle on the 101 freeway and was knocked unconscious is given medical aid. Credit: Brian Feinzimer for KCRW.
A demonstrator who fell off the hood of a CHP vehicle gives a hand signal while being transported into an ambulance off the 101 freeway. Credit: Brian Feinzimer for KCRW.
A demonstrator with a burned flag stares down LAPD officers while rallying against police violence and the recent killing of George Floyd. Credit: Brian Feinzimer for KCRW.
Demonstrators face off with police while rallying against police violence and the recent killing of George Floyd. Credit: Brian Feinzimer for KCRW.
A demonstrator sits on the curb against a line of LAPD officers while rallying in downtown LA against police violence and the recent killing of George Floyd. Credit: Brian Feinzimer for KCRW.