California Sun

Good morning. It's Thursday, June 4.

Counterprotesters raise their voices at rallies.
Organizers bring protests to whiter neighborhoods.
And the rise and fall of an unlikely boxing champion.

George Floyd protests


Protesters held up their fists in front of a row of police officers in downtown Los Angeles on May 27.

Agustin Paullier/AFP via Getty Images

"Defund the police," a once-obscure slogan, has been gaining traction in the George Floyd protests. Now, Los Angeles leaders say they are looking to cut up to $150 million from the LAPD budget as part of an initiative to reinvest in the black community. Opponents say recent rioting shows why the city needs the force it has. "10,000 officers were barely able to keep the peace," one council member said. L.A. Times | L.A. Magazine


Early Tuesday, police officers responded to reports of looting at a Walgreens in Vallejo, where they engaged a 22-year-old man named Sean Monterrosa. He appeared to have a handgun in his waistband, officers said. Feeling threatened, one of them fired five rounds, killing him. On Wednesday, Vallejo's police chief revealed new details: Monterrosa was on his knees when he was shot, and he didn't have a gun. It was a hammer. Vallejo Times-Herald | A.P.


Protesters chanted against police brutality in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Snapshots from Wednesday's protests:

Sacramento: The mayor and police chief knelt with protesters. "I love being a black man and I love being a police officer," Police Chief Daniel Hahn said. Sacramento Bee | CBS Sacramento
Sonora: Demonstrators in the tiny Gold Rush town held a nine-minute moment of silence. A group of counterprotesters used the opportunity to belt out the Pledge of Allegiance.
San Francisco: At least 10,000 people gathered in one of the city's most vibrant protests yet. A 17-year-old organizer addressed the crowd: "We are here to acknowledge the black people who built this country against their will." Mission Local |
West Hollywood: Hundreds of people laid down on scorching pavement with their hands behind their backs, simulating the position Floyd was in when a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck. A.P. | KTLA
San Clemente: "This entire city reeks of white privilege and everyone is plugging their noses," an organizer yelled through a bullhorn. O.C. Register | Voice of OC

Los Angeles burned on April 30, 1992, after the acquittal of four officers in the beating of Rodney King.

Lindsay Brice/Getty Images

The racial unrest in Los Angeles has drawn comparisons to the riots of 1992. But the geography of chaos has been very different. In 1992, South Los Angeles went up in flames. This time around, not only has the violence been much less pronounced, protest leaders made a very deliberate choice to bring their message to Los Angeles's largely white and rich Westside. L.A. Times | LAist | N.Y. Times

"LA 92," a documentary about the 1992 riots, is free on YouTube right now. Rotten Tomatoes score: 93 percent. It's also streaming on Netflix, along with "Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982–1992."


An Orange County sheriff's deputy working at a protest in Costa Mesa was seen wearing a patch for the Three Percenters, an extremist far-right paramilitary group. After photos and video of the officer spread online, Sheriff Don Barnes said such logos "contradict the values of the Sheriff's Department." The deputy was placed on administrative leave. Voice of OC | O.C. Register


In the last week, George Floyd murals have been draped on urban canvases in cities across California. Below, a short tour.

Los Angeles.

Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Los Angeles.

Kyle Grillot/AFP via Getty Images

Santa Barbara.

Redwood City.

Jeff Chiu/A.P.


Chris Tuite/ImageSPACE/Sipa via AP Images


Other odds and ends:

In Upland, a group in MAGA hats shouted "Go home" at demonstrators. Then, in a moment captured on video, a man produced an assault weapon and pointed it at the crowd. He was arrested. O.C. Register | NBC Los Angeles
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Trump's threat to send the military into American cities: "It won't happen. It's not going to happen. We would reject it. We would push back against that." L.A. Times | Politico
San Francisco's curfew was lifted. Sacramento's was extended. L.A. County's sheriff said the county's curfew would remain until "protests are gone." (The ACLU said that's unconstitutional).



A homeless woman slept in Skid Row on May 16.

Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

California's governor is pushing to parlay federal coronavirus relief into a solution to the state's homelessness crisis. The idea is to send counties $600 million in federal funding starting next month — before the aid dries up — to purchase vacant hotels and turn them into permanent housing. A major hurdle: Nimby opposition. Politico


Newsom signed an executive order that requires counties to have drop boxes open to receive ballots nearly a month before the Nov. 3 election. Walk-in polling stations must open at least three days before the election. The decision follows an earlier order requiring mail-in ballots be sent to all registered voters. Republicans are fighting that in court. Bloomberg | A.P.


Snap became the latest tech company to restrict the messaging of President Trump. The Santa Monica company, which makes the Snapchat app popular among young users, announced that it would no longer promote Trump's account after his incendiary remarks over the weekend. "We will not amplify voices who incite racial violence and injustice," it said. A Trump aide responded: "Snapchat is trying to rig the 2020 election." N.Y. Times | recode


After his unlikely win, Andy Ruiz Jr.'s team was ready to conquer the world. It wasn't to be.

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

In the summer of 2019, Andy Ruiz Jr. — the hefty son of Mexican immigrants from California's Imperial Valley — stunned the boxing world by walloping one of the sport's biggest stars at Madison Square Garden. The new heavyweight champ of the world, he was dubbed "Rocky Mexicano." There was a parade. It was the best story in sports. A year later, a reporter set out to find Ruiz and discovered that something was awry. Ruiz seemed to have checked out. "I didn't give up on Andy," his former trainer said. "He gave up on himself." ESPN


Joni Mitchell in the new Epix documentary series “Laurel Canyon.”

Henry Diltz

Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison, James Taylor.

In the 1960s and '70s, a neighborhood in the Santa Monica Mountains hosted an extraordinary bubble of musical innovators. The new two-part documentary "Laurel Canyon" uses performance footage, home movies, and artist interviews to craft what the L.A. Times called "the most comprehensive and musically satisfying document of a notably insular scene." (The only way to see it is to subscribe to Epix. But it looks like first week is free). L.A. Times | Rolling Stone


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The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.

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