CALIFORNIA—Wednesday, August 26 marked the third consecutive night of protests in Los Angeles in response to the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. About 100 protesters clashed with Los Angeles police officers at the Third Street Tunnel in downtown. LAPD officers fired rubber bullets at protesters during moments of fighting. 10 individuals were arrested on charges including vandalism and battery on a police officer, according to the LAPD.
Participant Jessica Rogers posted a series of content on Instagram from that night. The event marked Rogers’ 14th night in a row protesting. “[LAPD] demanded that we had to give up our shields if we wanted to be let out & said they were illegal. Then they shot us with rubber bullets & beat protesters as our hands were up. […] I’ve never been as terrified in my life as I was during the moments in this video. I truly thought they were going to try & kill us or imprison us,” Rogers said in one post from August 27.
Rogers recorded fellow protester Vishal Singh getting hit by a rubber bullet and falling to the floor. The footage shows him standing with his hands raised. Singh reposted the clip and shared one from his perspective on Instagram. “I was shot with a shotgun at point blank range. The skin is broken. I’m bleeding but medics have stabilized the wound,” Singh wrote in the post.
Rogers was also asked questions, patted down, and claimed to be unlawfully searched by police before leaving the area. The participant filmed the pat down and shared it in a separate post.
“They told us we could leave in groups of 5 & we would be patted down to make sure we didn’t have weapons. I was talking to other women about how we had to prepare to be groped by police officers. Thankfully, they assigned us female officers. Once I put my hands against the wall they patted me down. A separate officer in riot gear came up to ask me for my personal information & then they started searching my bag without my permission. He said he had to know my name so he could film me in case I came back downtown to do something because I was ‘angry,’” Rogers stated.
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Camera turns towards police around the 1:20 mark. Last night was my 14th night in a row protesting & the 6th day in 1 week where police brutalized the group. I’ve been told many times that I have a target on my back as I’m showing the brutalizations of protesters by the hands of police on IG & TikTok. On Tuesday night there was a cop car stationed outside of my apt so it’s very clear what they are doing. Keep in mind, the LAPD has been targeting organizers & independent journalists. They told us we could leave in groups of 5 & we would be patted down to make sure we didn’t have weapons. I was talking to other women about how we had to prepare to be groped by police officers. Thankfully, they assigned us female officers. Once I put my hands against the wall they patted me down. A separate officer in riot gear came up to ask me for my personal information & then they started searching my bag without my permission. He said he had to know my name so he could film me incase I came back downtown to do something because I was “angry”. Unless you are being detained you don’t need to give any information. He didn’t care & continued to ask me questions for personal information. They also searched my bag without my permission & without any warning. They did not do this to the people around me nor did they ask them personal questions. I thought that they were going to take me at any moment. When they made me leave without a buddy I though that they were going to snatch me as I walked to the street corner. Keep in mind that we are constantly told by organizers to not be alone as they could “snatch us”. After I reconnected with a friend they continued to follow us as we walked to our cars. These people are monsters. The men & women “in blue” are monsters. I know they see my social media. So I’ll just say this. If anything every happens to me. The LAPD did it. I’ve never touched a spray can. I don’t destroy property. I just film the police & try my best to help/protect fellow protesters. #protest #alwaysfilmthepolice #losangeles #blacklivesmatter
At around 9 p.m. about 300 people arrived at City Hall. They began marching through downtown an hour later. Some protesters spray painted graffiti on the U.S. Bank Tower located at 633 West 5th Street, according to authorities.
The group of 100 eventually entered the Third Street Tunnel through Hill Street on their way to Flower Street. LAPD officers had created a second skirmish line on the tunnel’s western edge which contained the group inside for some time. Protesters brought makeshift shields to protect themselves. Violent moments during the event transpired at around 11 p.m.
Jacob Blake, 29, was shot in the back seven times as he entered an SUV on Sunday, August 23, by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Three of his children were in the car as he was shot. Protests have happened in other cities nationwide in response to the shooting and videos of it online. Blake is paralyzed from the waist down and is in serious condition at a Milwaukee hospital.