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Arrests Made at Wilshire and Highland During Immigration Protest

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Shortly before 1:30 this afternoon, LAPD Commander Andrew Smith sounded the siren of a squad car and got on the loudspeaker to declare the protest at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Highland Avenue an unlawful assembly.

Jeers and shouts broke out in reply from the crowd, many of which were carrying signs or musical instruments. They were protesting a business located at that busy Hancock Park intersection, and neighbor-state Arizona's controversial SB 10170. Ten protesters lay on the hot pavement, chained to each other in a circle formation.

Smith gave the protesters five minutes to clear the intersection otherwise those remaining would be arrested. Two other LAPD officers read the same message in Spanish, then Korean. As the five minutes waned, an organizer asked the protesters if they wanted to speak out before those who did not wish to be arrested left as ordered. One of the chained protesters spoke about her willingness to put her body through the rigors of this protest for what she and many others gathered believed was right.

Cmdr. Smith announced that the LAPD would now begin making arrests, and the teams moved in to begin the lengthy process to safely extract each protester from their chains and to maintain order.

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As the first protester, a young woman, was cut from her chains and taken into custody, she slumped forward and dropped to her knees as supporters cheered for her resistance. Officers hoisted her up and carried her to a waiting bus where she would soon be joined by her nine fellow protesters.