Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti called on the state’s National Guard for help on Saturday evening in response to protests in the city — which have devolved into riots — over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota earlier this week.
“This is no longer protest — this is vandalism, and everybody’s in danger,” said Garcetti as he announced his request for the National Guard, according to a report by Los Angeles Daily News.
Garcetti’s request arrived just hours after the mayor issued an overnight curfew in the city in an attempt to curtail the riots in Los Angeles.
“If you love the city, go home,” the mayor proclaimed upon announcing the city’s curfew, which was apparently to no avail, as Garcetti later called on California governor Gavin Newsom for help from the state’s National Guard.
Protests over the death of George Floyd have devolved into violent riots across the country, which have involved looting, buildings being set on fire, businesses destroyed, the White House going on lockdown, and people being beaten and killed.
Floyd died on Monday after former police officer Derek Chauvin was seen on video pressing his knee onto Floyd’s neck. On Friday, the state of Minnesota announced that Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Earlier in the day, Floyd protesters were seen chanting “Eat The Rich” as they marched through Beverly Hills. Later, large groups of people began looting the luxury stores on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, as well as in The Grove, according to reports Los Angeles Daily News.
The report added that Garcetti referenced the 1992 Rodney King riots and said that while he believes a lot of work still needs to be done in Los Angeles with regard to inequality, engaging in violence is nonetheless not the way to respond.
“None of that is an excuse to burn a city down,” said Garcetti. “We need to breathe, step back, and do that hard work tomorrow.”