LAPD disrupts peaceful Women’s Day protest

LAPD+follow+a+peaceful+Women%27s+Day+protest+on+March+8%2C+2021.+Their+presence+aggravates+the+demonstrators+and+leads+to+a+stand-off+on+Spring+St.+

Vincent N. Medina

LAPD follow a peaceful Women’s Day protest on March 8, 2021. Their presence aggravates the demonstrators and leads to a stand-off on Spring St.

Vincent Medina, Community Editor

The Los Angeles Police Department disrupted a peaceful Women’s Day protest on March 8, as mothers of police brutality victims marched to the Ronald Reagan State Building. They demanded that the officers responsible be prosecuted for taking the lives of their children.

The protest began at the Los Angeles Hall of Justice. Family and friends held a vigil and shared stories of their loved ones and how they were murdered by police officers.

Protesters called on Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to charge the “killer cops” with murder.

As they marched down Spring Street, law enforcement followed, stopping traffic as they monitored the peaceful protest.

Once protesters noticed they were being followed, they questioned the officers and blocked their path. Officers tried driving around the protesters, nearly crashing into another vehicle in the process.

LAPD tried to intimidate the demonstrators by forming a scrimmage line and cutting off their exit routes. They also took out their tear gas canons and called for more officers to match the number of protesters.

As the scrimmage line moved forward, officers chained gates to parking lots closed, so demonstrators would only have one exit route.

Protestors yelled at the police, “Killer cops!” and “Quit your job!” as well as other vulgar words and profanity. Each side stood its ground.

After roughly an hour, tensions died down, officers were called back as protestors dispersed.

The protest had begun at the Hall of Justice to honor mothers who lost their children to police brutality.

Lisa Simpson lost her son, Richard Risher, to the police when they shot him during a gang-related dispute.

“Gascon hasn’t done anything for me,” said Simpson. “He won’t do anything for these families either. It’s been three months since he took office, and he hasn’t done anything.”

Keyanne Celina, with the organization “Community Control over the Police,” was a strong voice during the rally. She led the protest and the march to the Regan building.

“DA Gascon time to get busy! We want justice for Dijon Kizee,” Celina chanted. “It’s been a long time, but we’re doing the impossible! We’re getting justice for Andres Guardado!”

Guardado and Kizee were murdered by LAPD in 2020.

Anthony Bryson came out to support the families and Women’s Day. He has organized peaceful protests in Long Beach and is running to represent California’s 47th Congressional District.

“There would be no man without the woman. They are nurturers and supporters, and they have been the victims in the shadows of police brutality. Today we want to give them the voice to be heard so they can fight for justice,” said Bryson.

As families spoke, LAPD watched from across the street, which aggravated many protestors. Tensions spilled over into the standoff later that evening.