As a small group of protesters marched through downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, they were met by gunfire.
At least four people were wounded and one died as protesters tried to march in a small number of streets, police said.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) spokesman David Rains said at least three people were killed in the clashes.
The crowd then swelled as protesters continued their march, causing the LAPD to use tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd, according to the Los Angeles Times.
One of the protesters, Angel Gonzalez, said that she saw two of her friends get shot during the march.
She said they were shot in the back of the head and in the chest.
“We were trying to get our hands up to protect ourselves,” Gonzalez told The Times.
“It was like a war.”
The protests have become a major flashpoint in the race for President Donald Trump’s White House.
More: The Los Angeles protests are a test of Trump’s support base and the strength of his supporters, which have been particularly upset about the police shootings of African-Americans.
Gonzalez said that while she has friends who were shot, she didn’t know their names.
She added that she was upset by the police tactics and that the protesters were “trying to disrupt the protests.”
“I think they have no idea what they’re doing,” she said.
“They are the ones who are being shot.”
The protests are part of a larger national movement that began in February and has been fueled by the killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in Minnesota, a young black man who was killed in a traffic stop by police, and the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Protesters have also protested against police brutality, particularly in Ferguson and in cities across the United States.
The protests also have turned violent, with several officers being shot and killed, and police officers have also been killed.
Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon said Saturday that the demonstrations have been “outrageous,” and that he was “appalled” by what he called the “staggering” violence.
A white police officer, Micah Johnson, was fatally shot by a protester in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Protesters also clashed with law enforcement in Philadelphia and in Portland, Oregon, during the protests.