Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement took to social media Saturday night and early Sunday morning to beg those participating in riots in Santa Ana, California, not to loot local businesses, many of which are minority-owned.
Earlier Saturday evening, protesters had clashed with police in the city. The Los Angeles Times reported:
Protesters clashed with police Saturday night at the Santa Ana police headquarters.
Hundreds demonstrators demanding justice for George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis, converged on the police station, at times throwing objects at officers and setting off firecrackers. Santa Ana police said it began about 8 p.m. at McFadden Avenue and Bristol Street. Videos showed police using tear gas to push back the demonstrators.
The Orange County Register reported that some rioters threw rocks and explosives at police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
The Times initially reported that there had been no reports of looting. However, that soon changed, even as activists took to social media to discourage the chaos:
‼️ DO NOT LOOT OR DESTROY ANYTHING IN SANTA ANA ‼️looting will attract outsiders who want to destroy our city in the disguise of protest. Santa Ana has no other city to rely on, we have to look after our city and our people. Be smart and safe out there mi gente 🇲🇽❤️
— (@milknmiel) May 30, 2020
IF YOU ARE PROTESTING IN SANTA ANA, DO NOT LOOT/TOUCH OR EVEN DARE LAY A HAND ON THE BUSINESSES! THOSE BUSINESS ARE OWN BY MINORITIES AND ARE SMALL BUSINESSES. YOU DO NOT NEED TO DESTROY THOSE BUSINESSES!! BE ALERT AND PROTEST WITH A PURPOSE
— talia #BLACKLIVESMATTER (@choochootalz) May 31, 2020
Those protests apparently fell on deaf ears, as rioters helped themselves to merchandise and vandalized other buildings:
Hey Santa Ana what time is it? MODELO TIME FOOOO. pic.twitter.com/KI2Lw2318F
— Orange County Tweets (@OC_Tweets_) May 31, 2020
A big FUCK YOU to all the people looting in Santa Ana.
Wanna call this “your city” but have no respect for the businesses here. Where you buy your groceries, your medicine? Bunch of fucking scrubs.
Santa Ana doesn’t claim you.
— meli🌶 (@meliboo34) May 31, 2020
I am extremely disappointed to find out this demonstration turned into a riot. My school, Santa Ana College has been vandalized. Rite Aid and Smart&Final have been looted by idiots who are just stealing chips and alcohol. What an embarrassment. pic.twitter.com/zM43NX2QmW
— melissa (@figueroamelll) May 31, 2020
Protests also gripped Los Angeles overnight, as Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in that city and deployed the National Guard. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. across the entire city.
The protests are ostensibly motivated by outrage at the death of George Floyd, an African American man, at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Memorial Day.
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.