Shortly after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three charges for his role in the death of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter’s Los Angeles chapter instructed followers to gather outside Mayor Eric Garcetti’s home.
“Relieved by the guilty verdict AND…Justice for #GeorgeFloyd required that we #ReimaginePublicSafety and #DefundThePolice,” tweeted BLM-LA’s official account. “Meet us in front of the Mayor’s mansion RIGHT NOW.”
The post told interested parties to “Google Getty House Los Angeles for street address” and ended with a #BlackLivesMatter hashtag.
Relieved by the guilty verdict AND…
Justice for #GeorgeFloyd required that we #ReimaginePublicSafety and #DefundThePolice. Meet us in front of the Mayor’s mansion RIGHT NOW.
(Google Getty House Los Angeles for street address.) #BlackLivesMatter
— #BlackLivesMatter-LA (@BLMLA) April 20, 2021
The Getty House is the official residence of the mayor of L.A.
Dr. Melina Abdullah, a college professor at Cal State L.A. who is also BLM-LA’s lead organizer, went live on Instagram immediately after the verdict was announced on Tuesday. She encouraged viewers to use the jury’s decision as motivation “to transform the system so that we have a community safety system that’s grounded in community, not grounded in police.”
“That fool is guilty on all counts; that means he ain’t never getting out,” said Abdullah. “Now, I don’t believe in the carceral state, but as long as there are prisons and jails, let the murderous-ass cops be the first ones in them. Derek Chauvin should be in there for the rest of his life for stealing the life of George Floyd.”
NBC LA reporter Robert Kovacik tweeted video from Tuesday’s BLM demonstration showing people dancing in the street. He tweeted: “Celebration of verdict outside home of @MayorOfLA as @BLMLA demand @ericgarcetti defend the #LAPD.
— Robert Kovacik (@RobertNBCLA) April 21, 2021
Another journalist at the scene said the crowd remained peaceful and had cleared by around 6:30 pm.
“Only four police officers were seen and stayed off to the side,” tweeted Jada Montemarano, a reporter with Spectrum News 1 SoCal.
All clear: it remained peaceful as many shared their thoughts on Garcetti’s budget and how much is going to LAPD. Only four police officers were seen and stayed off to the side pic.twitter.com/nw4C6CBQKo
— Jada Montemarano (@JadaMontemarano) April 21, 2021
The mayor released his budget on Tuesday, which requires approval from City Council.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “Garcetti is proposing a slight increase in funding for the city’s Police Department for the upcoming budget year, disappointing advocates who have called for the agency’s defunding.”
Abdullah has organized several protests at Mayor Garcetti’s residence over the years, most notably last June, in an action that led to City Council voting to significantly defunding the Los Angeles Police Department’s budget by $150 million.
Outside Mayor Garcetti’s house peaceful protesters are demanding #CareNotCops and a #PeoplesBudget. Organizers with @BLMLA kept this action under wraps all day. They held a training nearby to emphasize peaceful methods of resistance. @MikeRoe and I are here for @LAist @KPCC pic.twitter.com/wojP74qcJq
— Libby Denkmann (@libdenk) June 2, 2020
Mayor Garcetti first announced the idea after BLM led a massive, peaceful demonstration outside of his home on June 2, eight days after Floyd’s death. Garcetti had previously supported a 7% increase to the LAPD’s budget. BLM and allied groups had put forth a proposal to city leaders called People’s Budget L.A., which called for reducing law enforcement’s share of the city’s general fund to less than two percent.
The $150 million cut to LAPD funding & reallocation of $250m to communities of color comes as a result of PROTEST and ORGANIZING. This step forward was won by the people.
THIS happened the day before @MayorOfLA made his announcement… and we're not done…#DefundThePolice pic.twitter.com/AaWTpq7grB
— #BlackLivesMatter-LA (@BLMLA) June 5, 2020
Abdullah and other BLM-LA members have said their long-term goal is police abolition, an objective that Garcetti says he rejects.
Dr. Abdullah told her followers after Tuesday’s verdict, “Don’t stop fighting now though y’all,”
“Remember, there were cops that stood around and enabled that shit,” she added. “There is an entire system that made Derek Chauvin a training officer, so there is an entire system that needs to be upended. Don’t stop fighting.”