Friday, September 10, 2010

Second night of LA clashes after immigrant killed

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Los Angeles riot police arrested 22 protestors and
fired rubber bullets in a second night of clashes after a Guatemalan
immigrant was shot dead in a confrontation with officers, officials said
early Wednesday.

Angry mostly Hispanic demonstrators hurled rocks, bottles and eggs at the
local police station in the MacArthur Park area near downtown Los Angeles,
according to an AFP photographer on the scene.

Those arrested were detained on charges including unlawful assembly and
failing to disperse after the violence, said Los Angeles Police Department
(LAPD) officer Karen Rayner.

The black-clad riot police fired rubber bullets and non-lethal bean-bags
to disperse the crowd. No protestors or police were injured, but one
person was struck by a slingshot projectile, according to police.

About 300 people earlier blocked a nearby road junction, and police
declared an unlawful assembly before moving in. On Monday night there were
some 100 protestors.

The fresh unrest -- in a city where dozens of people died in race riots in
1992 after the notorious police beating of a young black man, Rodney King
-- came hours after the Los Angeles police chief defended his officers.

Speaking a day after protestors burned mattresses and other rubbish Monday
night, police chief Charlie Beck said the officers involved had been
defending themselves in the shooting Sunday.

Thirty-seven year-old construction worker Manuel Jamines was shot dead
after threatening a passer-by with a knife. He ignored orders from bicycle
officers to drop his weapon, instead lunging at them, a spokesman said.

"He was ordered several times in English and Spanish to drop the knife,
and failed to comply," said Beck.

"The suspect then raised the knife over his head and advanced on officers,
at which time an officer-involved shooting occurred. The suspect fell to
the ground where he was taken into custody without further incident."

Jamines was pronounced dead at the scene, he added.

The comments came after four people were arrested and a policeman injured
in clashes with some 100 protestors late Monday.

Police maintained a "heavy" presence in the area Tuesday. Some 50 people
held a peaceful vigil during the day, when the protest remained peaceful,
before descending into violence in the evening.

Protestors insisted Jamines was drunk but not dangerous. "This guy didn't
speak good English, he was just walking around," said Carlos Ortega, 27.
"The police, they put him on the ground and shot him," he added.

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