Local law enforcement agencies, including the Pasadena Police Department, said they are prepared for any fallout from the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial and the unrest in Minnesota due to the fatal officer-involved shooting death of Daunte Wright.
“Pasadena PD is monitoring the situation in Minnesota and has been in contact with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners,” said Lt. William Grisafe. “We have developed operational plans to address any potential issues of civil unrest.”
At least one demonstration is planned to occur Thursday in Pasadena, according to a social media post.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said they were ready to call on the National Guard for help as they braced for protests over the upcoming verdict, according to City News Service.
Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, is charged with murdering George Floyd during an arrest on May 25.
“We are inquiring with all our law enforcement partners as to their state of readiness, which includes contingency planning with the National Guard,” Capt. John Satterfield, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department, told the Los Angeles Times.
Satterfield said that if protests become violent or shift into lawlessness, swift and decisive action will be taken to protect life and property and maintain order in a fair, firm and impartial manner.
He would not say how many National Guard troops would be ready to deploy.
On Monday, law enforcement officials and community leaders gathered in downtown Los Angeles to urge calm amid rising tensions in Minnesota.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore, along with Sheriff Alex Villanueva and about two dozen religious and community leaders, gathered to plead for calm locally and urge anyone who opts to protest to do so peacefully.
“All of us will do all within our power to support and facilitate these expressions within our community,” Moore said. “As one community, our Los Angeles community, we must also strive to not allow legitimate anger and frustration to spiral into violence, or allow others to hijack community emotions for their own destructive purposes.”
The call for calm comes as testimony continues in the trial of Chauvin, who is accused of murder for kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while arresting him for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store on Memorial Day.
Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests, including several in Pasadena.
At Monday’s news conference, Moore said that he also was prepared to call on the National Guard “if that becomes necessary.”
The pleas for calm came after a police officer fatally shot 20-year-old Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb. Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon — who resigned on Tuesday — said Monday that the officer who shot 20-year-old Wright, 26-year police veteran Kim Potter, intended to use a Taser, not a firearm, and that he believed the shooting of the Black man was an “accidental discharge.” Potter also resigned.
The death reignited tensions in the Minneapolis area, where protesters have taken to the streets for several nights to demand racial justice as they did following the death of Floyd.
Authorities around Minneapolis and elsewhere were already on alert as Chauvin’s trial on murder charges nears an end following nearly two weeks of testimony.