Ferguson protests continue throughout downtown Los Angeles


Nearly 300 protesters engaged in a second day of demonstration Tuesday night throughout the  downtown Los Angeles area in response to the non-indictment of Darren Wilson in the fatal August 9 shooting of Michael Brown.

The protest originated at Martin Luther King Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard, approaching the southeast border of the USC University Park campus at approximately 6 p.m. The east side of campus was closed off as a result. Protesters congregated under the 110 overpass near Flower Street and Jefferson Boulevard, crowding around police cars with one demonstrator jumping on the hood of the vehicle.

Following this, the group marched for more than two hours up Figueroa Street, reaching the Los Angeles Police Dept. headquarters in downtown Los Angeles around 8 p.m.

Along the way at multiple intersections, the protesters would “shut-down” the area by sitting down for four minutes, representing the four hours that Michael Brown’s body was left after he was shot in Ferguson, Missouri.  There were a string of chants shouted during the march, including, “Justice for Michael Brown, we will shut this city down” and “From Ferguson to L.A., these killer cops have got to pay.”

The protest proceeded down Figueroa Street with demonstrators in the front with linked arms and a crowd of roughly 300 people behind them. Reaching downtown Los Angeles, the protest culminated at the LAPD headquarters, where lines of officers had formed as a human barrier.

Though the demonstration was mostly peaceful, there were certain tense encounters between protesters and LAPD. Traffic cones and water bottles were thrown by some demonstrators at LAPD officers, and in another instance, a string of young men were shouting “F-ck the police” inches away from the faces of presiding officers.

At roughly 9:15 p.m., a group of nearly 100 protesters splintered off from the group at the LAPD headquarters and marched and entered onto the 101 freeway, which was subsequently closed. They shut down traffic for roughly half an hour before being dispersed by police.

Lana Payton, a second year cinematic arts-critical studies graduate student, joined demonstrators outside of the LAPD headquarters. She stressed the need for more action beyond just holding protests.

“We have to move in a different direction and that’s economic,” Payton said. “That means boycotting systems that support this institution — beyond Black Friday and beyond Cyber Monday — and really hitting America where it hurts the most, which is their pockets. That’s something everyone can participate in.”

The protests organizers announced that there will be another demonstration tomorrow at 3 p.m. outside the Los Angeles County Superior Court.