UPDATED, Wednesday 12:04 p.m. PT: A total of 192 people were arrested during the hours-long protests, including 167 for disturbing the peace; nine for blocking the 101 Freeway; 15 juveniles for curfew violations; and one person for felony battery on a peace officer, according to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
Protesters upset over the grand jury decision not to indict a Ferguson, Missouri police officer for the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager, swarmed the headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department on Tuesday night.
Just before 9 p.m. PT, hundreds of protesters could be seen inching closer to a line of officers dressed in riot gear who were guarding the steps to the building’s entrance. “There have been members of the crowd pushing some of the barricades and shouting obscenities at our police officers, but there have been no injuries or arrests,” Lt. Ruby Malachi of the LAPD media relations section told City News Service.
A livestream carried by Los Angeles television station KABC-TV showed the standoff between the officers and protesters outside the building located at 100 West 1st Street.
Some protesters carried signs with slogans including “Not Anti-Cop; Anti-Brutality” and “Arrest Darren Wilson,” a reference to Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9, sparking months of protests in the St. Louis suburb.
It was the second night of protests in L.A., with the Tuesday demonstration starting in South Los Angeles hours earlier, near Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards. It initially circled the intersection in crosswalks before moving into the center of the street bringing traffic to a halt. A short time later, the group marched east on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, toward the LAPD’s Southwest station east of Western Avenue.
The group briefly staged a sit-in at the MLK-Western intersection, with one person holding a sign reading “Shut it down.” The group continued east to Figueroa Street, then turned north to Jefferson Boulevard, where it moved east underneath the Harbor (110) Freeway.
Under cover of the freeway, some protesters jumped on patrol cars before the group moved east again, where it ran into a skirmish line of officers. After several minutes, the group moved again. On Jefferson west of the freeway, dozens of protesters surrounded a California Highway Patrol cruiser. After a tense few minutes, other officers moved in and the crowd slowly dispersed.
The protest continued to snake through the streets until arriving at LAPD headquarters downtown.
Around 9:20 p.m., some protesters began to break away. California Highway Patrol officers surrounded a group of people protesting on the Grand Avenue overpass over the Hollywood (101) Freeway in downtown L.A. Traffic on the freeway briefly came to a halt.