LOS ANGELES - As many demonstrators gathered for a peaceful protest to condemn police brutality in Santa Monica, California on Sunday, a group of individuals broke into several stores in the area, shattering glass and looting merchandise.
While looters targeted various clothing stores in Santa Monica, one onlooker posted a video to social media showing a group of people breaking into an Amazon van, throwing objects at the vehicle to break its windows before gathering in the back as a larger group of people appeared to run away with packages.
Santa Monica police announced Monday that they made more than 400 arrests.
According to local authorities, 95 percent of the individuals arrested for charges ranging from looting, assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a police officer and curfew violations, “reside outside the city.”
Around the country, some peaceful demonstrations turned violent as police clashed with protesters outraged over the death of George Floyd who died May 25, after a white Minneapolis officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
Floyd’s brother pleaded for peace in the streets of Minneapolis Monday, saying destruction is “not going to bring my brother back at all,” while President Donald Trump berated most of the nation’s governors as “weak” for not cracking down harder on the lawlessness that has convulsed cities from coast to coast.
The competing messages — one conciliatory, one bellicose — came as the U.S. braced for another round of violence at a time when the country is already buckling because of the coronavirus outbreak and the Depression-level unemployment it has caused.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.