BLM protests reach Whittier

Michael Saakyan

Crowds gathered in front of the Whittier Police Station Sunday, demanding justice for the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while being detained by a Minneapolis police officer. 

The death of George Floyd has sparked protests throughout the country leading many to loot and riot at some small businesses. The protests in Whittier were peaceful with no destruction to any of its businesses being reported. 

Peaceful protests

“I am overwhelmed with the amount of support. There was so many people who showed up and there was no damage to any properties,” said protestor Adelia Chaiyakul. “I am upset the police officers didn’t kneel with us. They didn’t stand with us and show unity, so our job wasn’t done but our voices were heard.”

Michael Saakyan

Protestors demanded Whittier police take a knee to show solidarity and their support to protect and serve the City. “You wanted us to show up for Keith Boyer, show up for us,” one protester demanded. Officer Keith Boyer was shot and killed during a shootout in 2017 by a former gang member. 

“Today was a great way for the community to allow its people to unite and demonstrate their frustration with systematic oppression,” said protestor Roxanne Cordova. “It’s important to keep our focus on systematic change and not get distracted with the confused looters. When protesting, protest with your conscience.” 

Many protestors held signs that read “Black Lives Matter,” “I can’t breathe,” and “Let’s Love Not Hate” which was held by a man in a Vietnam Veteran hat. 

“I can’t breathe” were Floyd’s final words as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled into Floyd’s neck. These words have been uttered before by Eric Garner in 2014 as police strangled him to death in New York City. 

Athletes like Lebron James and the late-Kobe Bryant have worn these words on t-shirts as a silent protest for the slayings of many black Americans. 

The crowds began to disburse at around 5:20 p.m. as smartphones’ notifications went off letting everyone know a Los Angeles county-wide curfew was to take affect from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.