Los Angeles Dodgers Lit Up Their Stadium For 8 Minutes and 46 Seconds to Honor George Floyd

With the MLB season still no closer to begin, Dodger Stadium has remained desolately shut so far. On Wednesday night, however, the Los Angeles Dodgers used their stadium to pay tribute to George Floyd, the African American man who died while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25.

When Floyd was arrested, a white officer knelt over his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while Floyd shouted he couldn't breathe, before seemingly losing consciousness.

Footage of the arrest has been met with worldwide outrage and has sparked huge protests across the U.S., from Minneapolis to New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.

At 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday night, the Dodgers turned on the lights at Dodger Stadium and shone them into the sky for exactly 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

"Tonight, the Dodgers joined families across Los Angeles in shining our Dodger Stadium lights into the sky at 9 pm for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in recognition of George Floyd," the franchise said in a tweet. "The Dodgers join all Angelenos in this peaceful display of unity to shine a light in the darkness."

Tonight, the Dodgers joined families across Los Angeles in shining our Dodger Stadium lights into the sky at 9 pm for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in recognition of George Floyd. The Dodgers join all Angelenos in this peaceful display of unity to shine a light in the darkness. pic.twitter.com/sGlM6UpuXi

— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 4, 2020

While most demonstrations have been largely peaceful, some have turned violent with protesters involved in clashes with the police and stores looted. For Angelenos, the scenes have been eerily reminiscent of the 1992 riots, which left 63 people dead over a six-day period.

Sparked by the acquittal of four Los Angeles Police Department officers who had brutally beat up Rodney King—a black man, whose arrest was captured on videotape by a civilian—the riots spread across several areas of Los Angeles' metropolitan area and were only brought under control once the national guard and the U.S. military were deployed.

While Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti imposed a curfew to quell unrest earlier this week, he has so far resisted President Donald Trump's demand to deploy the national guard.

On Wednesday, Garcetti announced he was scrapping plans to increase the LAPD's annual budget from $1.19 billion to $1.86 billion for 2020-21.

"We need to make a firm commitment to change, not just with words but with action," he said during a daily news briefing.

LAPD has come under scrutiny for its handling of the protests in the wake of Floyd's death. On Tuesday, UCLA condemned the department's decision to use the university baseball's field as a makeshift jail for protesters arrested during the demonstrations.

The university said the LAPD had not sought permission to use Jackie Robinson Stadium, which is located 15 miles west of downtown Los Angeles.

"We are troubled by the accounts that Jackie Robinson Stadium parking lot was used as a 'field jail' to process protesters. This was not done with UCLA's knowledge or permission," UCLA said in a statement to Newsweek.

"UCLA leases Jackie Robinson Stadium from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, but the university does not own the stadium or its parking lot. From time to time, city agencies like the Los Angeles Fire Department ask UCLA's permission to use the parking lot as a staging area during fires or other emergencies and we typically grant those permissions."

On Opening Day of the 1947 season, Robinson ended almost eight decades of racial segregation in baseball and tore down one of the most significant social barriers in American sports as he became the first black player in the MLB.

Robinson is an icon in Dodgers history as he represented the franchise when it was based in Brooklyn—it moved to Los Angeles in 1958—and the club highlighted his importance in bridging racial divides.

"As we stood with Jackie Robinson to overcome the barrier of racism in our sport, we now stand with all Americans who will no longer tolerate the evils of racism and social injustice in our society," the franchise said in a statement earlier this week.

MLB, Los Angeles Dodgers
A general view of the MLB game between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers from the upper deck seats of Dodger Stadium on June 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Cubs 3-2. Victor Decolongon/Getty