Protesters forming BLM rooftop sign with bodies were invited into complex by residents

On Tuesday, a group of protesters were invited into an apartment complex in Hollywood and went on the roof to make a statement about Black Lives Matter.

The protest ended up at an apartment complex on North Van Ness Avenue.

"Coincidentally the protest came down our street and was here at curfew. The group was dancing, and it was a really wonderful group of people but then right at 6 o'clock, the police started coming in on all sides," said Laura Diane Auer, the building manager and a resident.  

One of the peaceful protesters was Dutch VanHaren.

"All of the residents were coming out, cheering us on and taking videos," he said.

However, once the curfew hit, the scene changed, according to VanHaren and Diane Auer.

"Within minutes, we had cop cars flying in from every direction inciting an immense amount of fear and chaos," said Diane Auer.

Diane Auer said one person asked her to help, and she and her neighbors did what they thought was right.

"I was like OK let's just do this so we opened the door and I just started yelling everybody to the roof, everybody to the roof!" she said.

VanHaren parked his car at the complex with Diane Auer's permission and went to the roof with the group.

"The people [residents of the building] really looked out for me, really looked out for all of us," he said.

Diane Auer said she spent hours negotiating with police to allow the protesters to stay because she welcomed them as guests.

"I was trying very hard to communicate with the police that I had welcomed them, that there was no breaking and entering," said Diane Auer.

During their time on the roof, the group formed "BLM" for Black Lives Matter with their bodies.

"That's a big thing knowing that the helicopter and the news are zooming in on you, at that moment everybody's scrambling figuring out what they're gonna do, but we're still standing up for our rights and the movement even though we're about to be arrested," VanHaren said.

"They were like OK well we have the opportunity to make a real statement here and they did that," Diane Auer said.

At one point, Diane Auer said police told her they were leaving.

"They told me and I quote 'you've made your point. We're leaving and minutes later, they signaled to the helicopter to leave. We all started cheering and that's when I heard the bang, they made it into the building," said Diane Auer.

She believes the police used some type of welding tool to open the back door and then came up through the front stairs to the roof.

"They don't have a warrant. There's no one in the building calling for help or asking them to enter in fact every single tenant here stood their ground, but then they busted down the door and ran inside with real weapons, and they were pointing handguns," said Diane Auer.

Dozens of people ended up getting arrested including VanHaren. He left the roof in an effort to leave to get back home to San Diego, but was caught. He was later released, and returned to the apartment complex to get his car. VanHaren said Diane Auer welcomed him back into the building at that time to "hear his story."

Throughout the course of the night, the two said real bonds were made. The group took photos together and ate together while waiting for arrests on the roof.

"There was just so much fear about the whole situation but through that everybody really bonded together. We literally are saying we have a new family so that was pretty cool," said Diane Auer.

Diane Auer wanted to stress how the group was peaceful, and did not do anything criminal. She believes the police acted "illegally" by breaking into the building.

"Through this process, I learned that my confidence in my abilities to handle the situation and not get hurt is my privilege and I was grateful to be able to use it to help someone," Diane Auer said.

VanHaren said he drove over an hour to the protest because of the racism he has experienced in his life as a mixed person.