Even though word that a protest called for Monday, June 1, at the Van Nuys Civic Center had been canceled, hundreds converged in a growing demonstration against police violence and racism. The demonstrations provided cover for dozens of looters who hit area businesses, breaking in, taking what they could carry and running. Many of them were arrested and booked at Van Nuys Jail.
Later in the evening, Police declared the event an unlawful assembly, and hundreds of LAPD and CHP officers — on foot, on motorcycles and in patrol cars — could be seen converging on the area in video from ABC7’s helicopter. At least 50 law-enforcement SUVs were parked in the middle of Van Nuys Boulevard, blocking the street to traffic at Oxnard Street.
Due to the countywide curfew, most of the protesters had left by 5 pm and about a hundred remained, in contrast to the several hundred in the area during the afternoon.
As the looting continued into the evening, by 8:30 p.m. some 60 people were arrested and taken to Van Nuys Jail for looting near Sherman Way and Van Nuys Blvd., LAPD Commander Jeff Bert said.
It was late in the afternoon when looters descended on the commercial strip near the Valley’s historic core.
Many businesses were looted. The Boost Mobile store on Van Nuys Boulevard was among the businesses ransacked and a window was broken at the Valley Herbal Center marijuana shop on nearby Victory Boulevard.
It was later discovered that looters pried open the security gate, broke the window and cleared out the Super Discount Pharmacy on the 14600 block of Victory Boulevard Many similar businesses had also been targeted by thieves in search of codeine and other prescription narcotics, Bert said.
Approximately 30 officers were guarding the Van Nuys City Hall building, with demonstrators being held at the bottom of the steps to the historic structure, which was built in 1932.