LAPD Made 72 Arrests on Day of "mostly peaceful protests"
The Los Angeles Police Department are patting themselves on the back for a job well done yesterday, as they made 72 arrests during what they are calling a day of "mostly peaceful protests."
The police were on scene at two large protests in Downtown L.A., starting first thing Thursday morning for a permitted march and rally ending at 4th and Figueroa, which was attended by members of the group Good Jobs L.A. and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as well as members of Occupy LA. This first event was well-organized and included a group of pre-designated volunteers who set up in the intersection and were willing to be arrested.
The LAPD point out that at that location, however, "a group of demonstrators broke away from the main group and two individuals were arrested for interfering with a peace officer and failing to comply with lawful orders." Once the gathering was declared an unlawful assembly, the 21 protesters who willingly remained in the intersection were taken into custody one by one. They "were transported to the Metropolitan Detention Center and booked for remaining at an unlawful assembly and held on $5,000 bail," say the LAPD.
By midday, a second protest had gathered momentum, and was clogging the streets in the civic center. This march was non-permitted, and was more loosely organized than the morning's event. "During the march two individuals were arrested for interfering with peace officers," confirm the LAPD.
LAPD officers barricade Bank of America Plaza Thursday afternoon (Photo via Occupy LA on Facebook)
When the protest became more clearly one being run by the Occupy LA participants, who set up what they called an "expansion site" on private property at Bank of America plaza, the LAPD seemed less willing to work with the participants to bring the action to a conclusion, and worked directly with the property management to determine the protesters were trespassing.
It is worth noting, the property manager of L.A.'s Bank of America Plaza is Brookfield Office Properties, who happen to also number among their properties New York City's Zuccotti Park, site of the original Occupy Wall Street.
The LAPD arrested 47 individuals at the Bank of America Plaza site for trespass.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on the protests of November 17 in Los Angeles: "My job is to protect the rights of all persons and to ensure that the public is safe at all times. It is always a fine line that we walk in our efforts to protect the First Amendment."