Wednesday, July 25, 2012

LAPD officers, Occupy L.A. protesters clash during ArtWalk downtown

Crowd throws bottles and cans; at least 2 officers injured

By Melissa Leu and Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times

July 13, 2012
July 13, 2012 LA Times

A confrontation in downtown Los Angeles late Thursday between police and
Occupy L.A.protesters appeared to have stemmed from a sidewalk
chalk-drawing demonstration, witnesses said.

At least two officers were injured and several arrests had been made.

A woman who identified herself as part ofOccupy L.A. said protesters
attended the monthly L.A. ArtWalk on Thursday night with the intention of
showing support for people previously arrested for chalking on the
sidewalk. A Facebook event advertised the planned demonstration.

Discuss at 9 a.m. Friday: Skirmishes at L.A. ArtWalk

Some of the messages written at the intersection of Spring and 5th streets
included, "May the youth rise" and "End the Fed."

"We were handing out free chalk for freedom of speech," said Cheryl
Aichele, 34, a member of Occupy L.A.

Police arrived at the intersection shortly before 10 p.m. to move
protesters blocking the street. At one point, an unidentified man tossed a
glass bottle over his shoulder that landed in front of a line of LAPD
officers gathered on Spring Street between 4th and 5th streets. The man
was shot with what appeared to be a non-lethal weapon, witnesses said.
PHOTOS: The ArtWalk confrontation

Police used batons and non-lethal projectiles to disperse the crowd, which
in turn threw bottles and cans at officers and chanted, "Whose streets?
Our streets!"

Hundreds of officers in riot gear systematically moved the crowd away
block by block as people gathered in the windows of nearby apartments and
bars to watch and snap cellphone pictures. It took officers about two
hours to quell the protest.

"I came down for ArtWalk and it turned into this," said 25-year-old Susan

No comments: