Three LAPD officers were hurt and 10 people were arrested when a march commemorating the one-year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death descended into violence, Los Angeles police said.
More than 200 protesters turned out for the demonstration Saturday in Hollywood, where a group clad in “all black clothing” clashed with cops while using weapons like pepper spray, smoke grenades, metal batons and brass knuckles, police said in a statement.
“Suspects within the group began to spray paint walls with graffiti, broke the windows to businesses and ignited trash can fires,” the LAPD said.
The officers, who were not seriously hurt, were then attacked with metal objects tossed at them by angry protesters, including one who hopped onto a police cruiser and stomped on its hood and windshield, police said.
One of the injured cops, who were not identified by the department, had a cut to the hand after being struck by a computer thrown by a protester, while a second had ear damage when a smoke grenade was detonated by someone in the crowd, police said.
One protester was also treated for “injuries sustained during a use of force” by responding cops. The demonstrator was in police custody for assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, department officials said.
Ten protesters, including nine adults, were arrested during the chaotic clash, including five who were charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.
“The Los Angeles Police Department remains committed to ensuring everyone’s First Amendment Right to freedom of speech is protected during peaceful demonstrations, while also acting swiftly on any acts of violence,” LAPD said in a statement.
Nine businesses were also vandalized during the protest, police said.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore tweeted video Sunday of an officer in riot gear being hit with a microwave or air conditioner.
“NO justification/excuse for this violence,” Moore tweeted. “Smoke grenades and other projectiles thrown at our people trying to facilitate a Breonna Taylor protest.”
Capt. Steve Lurie, the commanding officer for LAPD’s Hollywood Division, tweeted that the officers were at the protest to ensure the demonstrators could safely express themselves on the anniversary of Taylor’s death on March 13, 2020.
“They had no such intentions, & came to destroy Angelenos’ businesses and attack police officers,” Lurie wrote.
The rally came one day after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, filed a lawsuit accusing police in Louisville, Ky., of excessive force and unlawful search in her death during the botched no-knock police raid at her apartment.
Walker, who fired his gun once as police stormed in, has said he feared an intruder was entering the apartment, prompting him to open fire, wounding one officer in the leg. Taylor was shot as the cops fired 32 rounds in response, striking the 26-year-old EMT five times.
No officers who were at the residence in search of drugs were charged in Taylor’s death, but a grand jury indicted one cop on wanton endangerment charges in September for shooting into a neighbor’s apartment. No drugs were found during the raid.
A Kentucky judge, meanwhile, last week dismissed charges of assault and attempted murder of a police officer against Walker with prejudice, permanently closing the case.