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LAPD, FBI Seek Public's Help In Identifying Those Involved In Assault, Arson And Looting

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California National Guard troops were deployed to L.A. in response to looting and arson. (Kyle Grillot/AFP via Getty Images)
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The LAPD and the FBI asked today for the public’s help in identifying people who were involved in alleged assaults, arson and looting during the recent protests over the death of George Floyd.

The request from the Safe LA Task Force comes as the LAPD separately investigates dozens of allegations of police brutality against protesters. At least seven officers have been taken off field duty while those allegations are investigated.

LAPD Lt. Ben Fernandes, who manages the Safe LA Task Force, said they've been working to identify "who are victims of crime, what businesses, what officers, what civilians."

At least 2,700 demonstrators have been arrested in Los Angeles since the start of protests, although the bulk of those arrests came early in protests over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. According to booking records, the majority of the charges were for looting, vandalism, burglary, and violating curfew.

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L.A. County District Atty. Jackie Lacey, speaking earlier this month to our newsroom's public affairs show AirTalk, attempted to draw a line on how when they would prosecute anyone arrested during the protests.

"There could be a scenario where someone comes in to steal food because they're hungry or diapers. That's different," Lacey said. "But some of the cases that we expect will be organized theft rings or stealing things that can easily be sold."

The LAPD says there were more than 150 assaults against officers and civilians, including five instances of alleged attempted murder of a police officer. Department officials say suspects in four of those cases have been arrested.

Lacey has been sharply criticized by Black Lives Matter organizers for her track record when it comes to prosecuting law enforcement officers who use excessive force.

UPDATES:

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8:20 p.m.: This article was updated with additional context about the protests and debate over police response.

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