Update May 31, 2020: 1:15 a.m. A curfew has been issued starting at 1:30 a.m. by the City Manager. Shortly before midnight, Union Bank and Chase Bank in downtown La Mesa were burned. The Randall Lamb historic building is also on fire. More stores have been looted, including Walmart and Target at Grossmont Center and shops in the La Mesa Springs shopping center.
Emergency vehicles in flames; protesters tear gassed after armored vehicle hit with rocks and bottles
By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor; Briana Gomez, Miriam Raftery and Rebecca Jefferis Williamson also contributed to this story
Photo, left by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson: Vehicle burning in La Mesa
Photo, right, by Paul Kruze: Protesters during earlier peaceful march
May 30, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Multiple vehicles at La Mesa's Civic Center are in flames tonight, with looting of businesses across the downtown area.The chaos comes after several thousand mostly peaceful demonstrators converged outside the La Mesa Police Department headquarters this afternoon to protest the killing of George Floyd, an African-American man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis. The protesters also demonstrated over an incident earlier this week in La Mesa when a man was detained near the Grossmont Transit Center that some contend was racial profiling.
In that incident, suspect Amaurie Johnson was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer. Video on social media shows the Amaurie and the officer arguing when the officer pushes Johnson into a seated position. The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The city has also announced plans for an independent investigation.
The protest later resulted in confrontations, tear-gassing of some protesters and declaration of an unlawful assembly.