Several hundred protesters gathered in downtown Los Angeles Sunday to vent their anger at the shooting death of Ezell Ford, an unarmed black man who was killed by police in South LA on Monday night.
Carrying signs and chanting "We are all Ezell," the crowd stopped at the L.A. police department's headquarters, where several protesters spoke. Marchers then continued to Union Station and La Placita, through Little Tokyo into Chinatown, then back to City Hall.
"I think there continues to be a dehumanization of black and brown people in this country," said Susanna Parras, 31, a public school social worker from South LA.
Many people carried signs with the names of both Ezell Ford and Mike Brown, the 18-year-old African American man shot by police in Ferguson, Missouri. "I'm here to support the right of black and brown folks to live with peace and dignity," said Alex Villapando, 31, of South LA.
Ford, 25, was shot by members of LAPD's Gang Enforcement Detail Monday evening after he reportedly tackled officers and reached for one of their guns. Family members say Ezell was known to have mental problems and question why he was stopped in the first place.
But many people were suspicious of the department's version of events. Too many black men have been shot and killed by police, said Andrew Nance, 38, of Mid-Wilshire.
"I'm out here because I have an eight-year-old daughter," he said. "I think she has the right to know her father throughout her life, without fear that he may be get mowed down in the streets by the people who are sworn to protect."
Police gave the crowd a good deal of room to move, allowing them to march in the middle of the street in some areas. An LAPD spokesperson said this was done deliberately to keep things calm, and because the streets were less crowded on a Sunday.
"I think the LAPD has learned, maybe, how to relate to the public. They're not trying instigate something like Ferguson," Villapando said.
Sunday night's rally in L.A. echoed protests taking place around the U.S. following the shooting death of Michael Brown, who was killed by police last week in Ferguson Missouri, prompting rallies that have turned violent in recent days.
On Saturday, Missouri's governor declared a state of emergency, and placed a midnight curfew on the suburb.
[Updated with quotes]