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California National Guard Departs LA After Week Of Peaceful Protests

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- The California National Guard is departing Los Angeles Sunday evening, one week after they arrived due to growing unrest over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

National Guard on Fairfax
The National Guard are stationed in front of Fairfax Avenue, on May 31, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. - Clashes broke out and major cities imposed curfews as America began another night of unrest Saturday with angry demonstrators ignoring warnings from President Donald Trump that his government would stop violent protests over police brutality "cold." (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

In a statement, Mayor Eric Garcetti said a few units will remain until June 10, in case of an emergency.

"I'm proud that our city has been peaceful this week — and that our residents are leading a powerful movement to make Los Angeles more just, equitable, and fair for Black Angelenos, communities of color, and all of our workers, youth, and families," Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote in a statement.

Garcetti called on Gov. Newsom to deploy the National Guard overnight on May 30 "to maintain peace and safety" after peaceful protests across the city dissolved into looting and violence.

Garcetti initially said on Saturday afternoon during a press conference that it was unlikely the National Guard would be called. Instead, he implored citizens to practice non-violent protesting.

Hours after his press conference as crowds continued to gather across the city, Garcetti announced that Newsom approved his request to send in 500-700 National Guard troops to help keep order in the city.

In addition to calling on the military, the city of Los Angeles also mobilized its entire police department as part of its response strategy for the first time since the major earthquakes of 1994 and 1995.

"We thank the members of the Guard for their willingness to serve — to ensure the safety of demonstrators, businesses, residents, and everyone in our city," Garcetti's statement read.

Protesters took to the streets for the 12th day in a row on Sunday, with as many as 20,000 people gathering in Hollywood. Hundreds sat outside city hall, calling for the defunding of police and an end to police brutality.

"I understand why they (the National Guard) were there," said one protester. "I mean, let us not forget, we are in Los Angeles where the L.A. riots did happen. But, at the end of the day, we are a peaceful protest here in unity, and they saw that."

Protesters outside city hall in downtown said they plan to be out again on Monday, calling out the same message.


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