Remi Franklin, a jujitsu practitioner and security volunteer, stood guard on La Brea Avenue on Saturday afternoon as the neighborhood’s highly visible Orthodox Jewish population made their way home from Shabbat services.
Franklin, who is Jewish and grew up in Malibu, smiled broadly as people walked past him.
“Good shabbos!” he said. “Stay safe!”
People smiled back, appreciative.
It was the second day in a row that Franklin, 37, and other volunteers had come to the Fairfax District to offer protection to a community on edge.
Some stood on the sidewalk offering to walk people to and from synagogue, asking if they felt safe, and just wishing them a happy sabbath. Others were more incognito, sitting in parked cars.
“Last night, seeing you guys walk people home, it was surreal,” said one man who stopped to thank Franklin. “We’re proud to have you.”
Franklin said he felt called to offer his support after multiple recent antisemitic attacks, including a violent attack on diners at a West Hollywood area sushi restaurant.
A video capturing part of the Tuesday night attack shows people in a caravan of cars flying Palestinian flags yelling, “F— you” and “You guys should be ashamed of yourselves” as they drive by the restaurant.
Police arrested one man in connection with the incident Friday. The man was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, police said. Detectives will recommend additional hate-crime charges.