An armed civilian stood with an unarmed female protester on Sunday at the door of the REI store in Santa Monica, California, turning away a group of would-be looters who tried to smash into the store during a Black Lives Matter protest.
An earlier, peaceful “Black Lives Matter” demonstration along Ocean Boulevard to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last week turned violent as looters targeted nearby retail stores.
KTTV Fox Los Angeles journalist Koco McAboy was filming with her crew as a group of masked, black-clad white males started smashing the glass doors of the REI store, on the corner of 4th Street and Santa Monica Boulevard.
A young, slender woman with a sign reading “End All Violence” stood at the doors and pleaded with the looters to stop. They attacked her, pulling her arm to move her away from the doors, but she returned to her position. She was joined by a large man with a sign that read “We Protest, No Loot!!”. The attackers even threw a smoke bomb as they left, but the two stood their ground. It later transpired that the man was carrying a concealed weapon.
“He threatened to pull a gun on me,” Zeshaun said of one of the looters. “Thank God, that, like, I was able to tell them, I carry, you’re not supposed to do that, I told him, like, you need to back off. I was also recording. Once he saw the phone, and he knew I was carrying, he stopped, and he left. And I am just thankful to God that I remained safe.”