George Floyd death: Protests held from Los Angeles to Minneapolis

From Minneapolis to here in Southern California, protests are continuing over the death of George Floyd, some of then turning violent.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- From Minneapolis to here in Southern California, protests are continuing over the death of George Floyd, some of then turning violent.

Rioting, fires and looting broke out in Minnesota Wednesday night, while here in Los Angeles a Black Lives Matter protest was marred by several incidents of violence and flag burning.

The protests are over the death of George Floyd, who died shortly after a Minneapolis officer was seen placing a knee on his neck for an extended time even as Floyd was heard saying "I can't breathe."

The four officers involved in the incident have been fired and now the White House says it is taking a look at the incident. The mayor of Minneapolis has also been calling for criminal charges to be filed against the officer who was seen in video putting his knee on Floyd's neck.

RELATED: Latest updates on the investigation into the death of George Floyd

In the meantime, anger flared up in downtown Los Angeles.

Thousands of protesters showed up near the Civic Center Wednesday night.

The crowd was initially peaceful, but things took a turn as dozens blocked the 101 Freeway and then attacked two CHP vehicles. One man was injured when he rode on a cruiser's hood and then fell off, hitting the ground. More than one incident of flag burning was also seen in the crowd.

Video: Protesters smash window of CHP cruisers near downtown LA

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Black Lives Matter protesters surrounded a police car and smashed a back window during a demonstration in Los Angeles.

Activist and commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson says protest gatherings of large groups can develop problems, but that shouldn't take away from the larger cause. He supports the Black Lives Matter demonstration, but says it's important to try to prevent violent outbursts.

"Any time you have masses come together with anger, frustration, you're always going to have some who take advantage of the situation," said Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable. "We don't condone violence. We stand for aggressive, forceful demonstrations and protests, which by the way is legitimate."

Mayor Eric Garcetti said he too understands the anger.

"George Floyd was killed before our eyes - and we have every reason to be angry, to cry out for justice, to say never again," Garcetti tweeted.

"Angelenos should follow their conscience in response to the pain and senselessness of this horror. I will always believe in expressing ourselves powerfully, peacefully, and safely."

Other than the incidents involving the CHP cruisers and the flag burning, the overall event was mostly peaceful, the Los Angeles Police Department said. No arrests were made.

Downtown LA protester: "It's not right. We're sick of it."
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A protester at the Black Lives March in downtown Los Angeles talks about how disturbed he was at the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

"Earlier we saw people on the streets of Downtown L.A., at times going onto the 101 freeway, to protest the death of George Floyd," the LAPD tweeted. "We hear your anger & your pain. We will always facilitate freedom of speech. Period. All we ask is that protests are held in a safe & legal manner."

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