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Broken glass, empty shoeboxes, and a single open McDonalds: Photos show a scene of destruction in Santa Monica after looters made their way through businesses

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  • On May 31, peaceful protesters took to the streets of Santa Monica, California, to protest police brutality and the recent killing of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.
  • Similar protests have been unfolding across the country.
  • When afternoon arrived in Santa Monica, looters began to smash storefronts and to graffiti the local courthouse before dispersing as police gained control around 8 p.m.
  • By 6:30 the next morning, the National Guard had rolled in, and the city’s sanitation workers arrived to assist in cleanup efforts.
  • Local residents also pitched in to help clear the sidewalks of shattered glass and clothes hangers pulled from looted retailers.
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Over the last several days, thousands of people have taken to the streets across the country to protest police brutality against minorities and in the name of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white police officer in Minneapolis pinned him to the ground under his knee for nearly nine minutes.

May 31 saw peaceful protests starting up in Santa Monica, California. Hundreds of people marched along Ocean Avenue toward the Santa Monica Place Mall.

Amid the protest, looting also broke out. Storefronts along the Santa Monica Promenade, up Fourth Street, and into the mall were all targeted.

santa monica LA protests photo by Stacey Leasca

Protesters in Santa Monica on March 31, 2020. Photo by Stacey Leasca

According to The Los Angeles Times, the looters appeared to be part of an organized attack. Witnesses told the LA Times that cars dropped people off in front of businesses. Looters smashed windows and grabbed what they could from stores before jumping back into awaiting vehicles. 

By mid-afternoon, police were activated, clearing looters from one store to the next, before finally taking control of the neighborhood around 8 p.m. By morning, the only thing left was broken glass and several dozen newly placed National Guard members throughout the city.

This is what the morning after looked like in Santa Monica. 

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