Protest organizers say South LA deliberately avoided to target more affluent areas instead

Organizers of protests in Los Angeles against police brutality say they have deliberately avoided South L.A. in order to focus on more affluent areas like Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

Los Angeles, like other major cities nationwide, has been dealing with mass protests sparked by the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd, who died after a white police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Many of these protests have been peaceful, but others have descended into rioting and looting that has left some businesses and buildings in ruins.

Demonstrators put their hands behind their heads before being taken into custody after the city's curfew went into effect following a protest, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Los Angeles over the death of George Floyd. 

Demonstrators put their hands behind their heads before being taken into custody after the city's curfew went into effect following a protest, Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Los Angeles over the death of George Floyd.  (AP)

The civil unrest, and its racial implications, has been compared to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which broke out after a jury acquitted four white officers in the beating of Rodney King, who was black.

The subsequent violence lasted five days and resulted in more than 60 deaths and some 2,383 injuries. And like the scenes playing out across the country this week, many businesses were looted, and in some cases, burned to the ground.

FILE: A man removes a couch from a store in South Central Los Angeles following verdicts in the Rodney King beating trial. 

FILE: A man removes a couch from a store in South Central Los Angeles following verdicts in the Rodney King beating trial.  (AP)

The rioting and destruction were confined largely to South L.A., an area of mostly poor black and Hispanic residents. But since protests began last week, South L.A. has mostly avoided much of the violence it saw in 1992.

Protests this time around have taken place in higher-income areas like Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Hollywood and the Fairfax District. Melina Abdullah, who co-founded the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter, said this was by design.

“We want to go to places of white affluence so that the pain and outrage that we feel can be put right in their faces,” Abdullah told The Los Angeles Times.

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Many of these protests have resulted in looted or destroyed businesses. Abdullah and other organizers said their intention was to simply send a message, not cause more violence.

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Los Angeles police on Tuesday said more than 2,700 people have been arrested since protests began. Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore told the city’s Police Commission that about 2,500 of the arrests were for failure to disperse and curfew violations. The rest were for a range of suspected crimes, including burglary, looting and assaults on police officers.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.