W Hollywood Disputes 'False' LAPD Reports Of Protestor Vandalism
LAPD said that protestors demonstrating against the George Zimmerman verdict in Hollywood Sunday night stormed the W Hotel and vandalized it, causing $15,000 worth of damage.
LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told NBC Los Angeles, "At one point a group broke of them broke off and went into the W Hotel, committed what I’m told is about $15,000 worth of damage. Spray-paint, graffiti, that type of thing, and then they left."
The LAPD report was picked up by local media outlets. The only problem? It never happened, according to spokespeople with the hotel. General Manager Leon Young told The Brad Blog (via Salon), "No protestors ever entered W Hollywood nor were any of our guests ever in danger."
Communication Director Lauren Travis responded to reports that protestors had broken glass in the hotel, "Regarding the broken glass - those reports are false."
What exactly did happen is less clear. In this NBC video (that includes Smith talking about the incident), there is footage of a large group of people rushing to enter the W Hotel at the 1:10-minute mark:
View more videos at: http://nbclosangeles.com.
The Twitter account @OccupyLA says that as protestors marched by, some of the people not involved in the demonstration ran inside the hotel. Some of the protestors broke off and chased them to the hotel:
Whether any of them went inside isn't clear—but it's safe to say that the LAPD reports were overblown. The Brad Blog spoke to the LAPD media division about the discrepancy, and a spokesperson said that whatever the W Hotel claims is correct. When the blogger asked LAPD Detective Gus Villanueva whether the police would be correcting the record, Villanueva replied, "No, but you will."