Six People Arrested During Local Police Brutality Protest
Six people were arrested last night during a march protesting police brutality in South Los Angeles. The march comes as protests rage in Baltimore over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal injury while in police custody.
Local protesters were marching late last night around 11 p.m. near 65th Street and Broadway not far from where Ezell Ford, an unarmed 25-year-old, was fatally shot by LAPD last summer. They were reportedly heading to the LAPD's 77th Street Station nearby, police told City News Service. Media reports indicate that there were about 50 people marching They were met with a large police presence at 69th and Broadway, My Fox LA reported.
Police told CNS that six people were arrested during protests. Some protesters were trying to lie down in the intersection and block. Los Angeles police Sgt. Rick Rodgers told CNS, "They refused to obey a command to stop blocking traffic and refused an order to disperse."
Four protesters were arrested for allegedly refusing to obey officers, one for failing to disperse and one for attempting to free another person in police custody, the Los Angeles Times reported. Police say there were three men and three women among the arrested. The crowd thinned out by 12:30 pm to the point police backed off, according to CNS.
The LAPD was on "Blue Alert" because of protests in Baltimore. Baltimore sent out a message to law enforcement agencies around the country claiming that gangs that operate in the area—including Black Guerrilla family, Crips and Bloods—were conspiring on a national level to "take out" law enforcement officers. The Blue Alert means that LAPD was asking officers to ride in pairs. Typically officers do ride in pairs, but during a Blue Alert it's mandatory.
However, local gangs in Baltimore spoke out, asking for peaceful protest while demanding justice for Gray. They denied that they were conspiring to commit violence, and even came together in a video and in a picture uploaded to Facebook:
At an LAPD commission meeting this morning, one South Los Angeles resident spoke out, saying that she was concerned about what was happening in Baltimore and she said she felt that LAPD was being too aggressive:
Woman said there were concerns among residents that some officers were "a little bit more aggressive than they need to be," but...— Kate Mather (@katemather) April 28, 2015
...but the dialogue is important. "We're trying to get where the people and the police are not two separate units so far apart."— Kate Mather (@katemather) April 28, 2015
Last night Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell offered a statement in the wake of protests in Baltimore:
"The L.A. Sheriff's Department has worked side by side with our police partners, faith leaders and the community as a whole to ensure that we know the pulse of the community, because that really is the definition of public safety. And we welcome the community's watchful eye, even as we ensure those within our ranks are held to a very high standard. "We've worked too hard for too long to allow (actions) in other cities to erode the relationships that we've been able to build with our communities. We respect the right of people to exercise their First Amendment rights peacefully but we can't condone violence or lawlessness of any kind. Any act similar to what we saw...throughout the day in Baltimore will be dealt with appropriately here."