Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti asked Black Lives Matter protesters on Wednesday to self-quarantine for 14 days and to have themselves tested for possible exposure to coronavirus during the demonstrations of the last two weeks.
“If you were out protesting, as I’ve said, please go get a test — a free test, at one of our open testing centers,” Garcetti said during a press briefing.
“Consider self-quarantining for 14 days, and get tested for COVID-19. We have a test waiting for you at one of the 24 testing sites across the city and county.”
Garcetti emphasized the message of the Black Lives Matter protests, on the day after the funeral of George Floyd, who was killed in the custody of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Memorial Day.
“People of all backgrounds, genders, and race have come together to demand change,” Garcetti said.
“I believe we will emerge from these days as a different city, and a different country — a better city, and a better country — and I hope, too, a better world,” he said.
Garcetti also referred to his announcement last week to cut over 10% of the police budget, in deference to the demand of Black Lives Matter protesters that he “defund the police.”
“We’re changing our budgets to make investments where we need them,” he said, referring to the $150 million in cuts to the Los Angeles Police Department, plus $100 million from other priorities.
With a smaller budget, Garcetti asserted, the police would adopt new practices aimed at “21st century policing goals.”
He noted that the LAPD had agreed to end the use of “carotid holds,” otherwise known as “sleeper holds” or “rear naked choke” holds, which cause unconsciousness.
He also said gyms would be able to open on Friday, June 12, with new restrictions and rules, though many other businesses would remain closed.
There had been a 1% increase in new coronavirus cases since the day before, he said, and 64 deaths in the city in the previous 24 hours.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.