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LAPD Trying to Control Crowds After Lakers Victory [UPDATED]
As people streamed out of the Staples Center after the Lakers 83-79 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the NBA Finals for the championship, the LAPD went into overdrive to prevent the riots and melee that ensued last year. They quickly ruled the crowds were an unlawful assembly and worked to disperse them peacefully.
As of 11:15 p.m., there were 14 confirmed arrests, including one for assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer. Other arrests were for offenses such as public drunkenness and inciting. There was a bicyclist who was apparently hit on 11th and Flower by an LA County Sheriff's car. Spectators said the sheriff wasn't going very fast, and he was taken by an ambulance from the scene.
At around 9:40 pm the LAPD announced that the crowd was thinning out, however that didn't end the incidents. Among them:
- A yellow Lamborghini was trashed.
- Several fans were beating up a taxi driver on Flower and Olympic who was apparently trying to protect his car. The LAPD is en route to the situation.
- A group of about 30 people were seen walking onto the 10 freeway via the Figueroa Street onramp.
- Police officers were taking bottles and rocks at Olympic and Francisco at around 10:02 pm.
- Several tazing incidents have been reported.
- A bus driver was reportedly being attacked on 8th and Flower.
- A car has been set on fire on Flower between 7th and 8th. The Fire Department has responded to it at 10:22 pm and doused the flames.
- Officers were taking bottles and at the same Shell Station on Olympic and Grand that was looted last year.
- Officers fired projectiles into a crowd after being attacked at Figueroa and Venice at around 10:25 pm.
- Looting was reported at the McDonalds on Washington Blvd. and Hill Street.
- The Metro Blue Line has been shut down.
- Downed power lines were reported on 11th and Hill at 11:00 pm.
- Around 11:30 p.m., a group of apparent vandals moved eastward through downtown causing trouble, stopping traffic, throwing rocks and "pieces of concrete" at officers. LAPD deployed backup and the group scattered even further East.
Despite this LAFD spokesperson Brian Humphrey said, "Though there have been multiple persons injured outdoors near Staples Center, we are not aware of any loss of life. There are no major fires anywhere in the City, and no LAFD emergencies inside the arena."
At 11 p.m., LAPD police chief Charlie Beck said in a press conference in keeping the area around LA Live safe, "Our plan was to use overwhelming force."
"We managed it the best we could manage it," Beck said. "So far things are going well."
As for the other hot point in East LA, police officers on horseback are dispersing people along Whittier Blvd. at 10:25 pm. It is unknown if any arrests were made or injuries sustained.
On Monday at 11 a.m., the Lakers Parade will go from the Staples Center to near USC campus. To get live text message updates from the LAPD, text "lawins" (no quotes) 888777. Instead of using Twitter, LAPD is using Nixle, which many law enforcement agencies around the country use.
More on this as the night continues. Also follow us on Twitter @LAist for updates.
Additional reporting by Zach Behrens
Post updated throughout