Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti bailed on a town hall meeting in L.A. Monday night after Black Lives Matter protesters stormed the event, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Several hundred community members were gathered at Holman United Methodist Church in South L.A. to discuss the black community when nearly 50 protesters from Black Lives Matter disrupted the event.
According to the report, protesters first stood up and turned their backs to the mayor while he addressed the crowd.
“You can boo,” Garcetti said. “You can do whatever you want.”
Garcetti did his best to calm the angry protesters, but his efforts proved futile.
Demonstrators began to crowd the stage, reaching for microphones and shouting: “Black lives, they matter here!”
Garcetti was ushered out of the building by police officers and taken to his sedan. There, protesters surrounded the mayor’s car and continued to chant.
One activist jumped on the trunk of the car as Garcetti sat inside. An LAPD helicopter circled over head with its spotlight beaming down on the sedan.
Protests like this have become routine for Garcetti. Garcetti has been struggling for over a year to gain support among black residents of L.A.
Black Lives Matter has criticized Garcetti for failing to respond adequately to a number of police shootings, including the death of Ezell Ford.
Ford, a mentally ill black man, was shot over the summer by L.A. police officers. The night before the ruling, Garcetti flew to Washington, D.C. to attend a fundraiser for his 2017 re-election. He told protesters he was flying to the capitol to secure funding for homelessness.
On Monday, Garcetti spoke with reporters to discuss his relationship with the community.
“Tonight, we had hundreds of South L.A. residents attend a community meeting — leaders, business owners, mothers and children, who took time out of their evening to discuss the critical issues that matter most to all of us,” he said. “I am disappointed that our conversation was cut short when there is so much work for us to do together to make our neighborhoods stronger and safer.”
Reverend Kalvin Sauls presided over Monday night’s town hall and was disappointed with how it ended.
The pastor said he was “very, very disturbed and disappointed in Black Lives Matter for violating the trust and confidence” of the meeting’s organizers.”
Police officers said no arrests were made.