California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States with over 10 million inhabitants, after protests over the killing of George Floyd turned violent on Saturday.
“On May 25, 2020, George Floyd tragically died in Minneapolis, Minnesota, shortly following his arrest in which an officer of the Minneapolis Police Department kneeled on his neck to detain him during the arrest, and then did not respond to Mr. Floyd‘s requests for help when he stated that he could not breathe,” said a statement released by the governor’s office on Saturday night.
Floyd’s death has triggered “civil unrest” within the city and county of Los Angeles, whose threat local authorities are “inadequate to address,” it said.
According to the statement, Newsom also authorized assistance after a request from the city and county of Los Angeles, and will deploy members of the National Guard to assist Los Angeles and neighboring communities in containing the unrest.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced earlier that a curfew will be in effect in the city beginning from 8:00 p.m. Saturday to 5:30 a.m. Sunday local time.
The protests against police brutality in the city went into the fourth straight day on Saturday. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the Fairfax District and downtown Los Angeles on Saturday afternoon to express their anger over the killing of the unarmed Minnesota black man by police.
Over 530 people were arrested Friday night and early Saturday after the protests turned violent in downtown Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.