Statement on Detentions of Media Personnel NR21094rj
March 26, 2021
Echo Park: On March 25, 2021, about 8:00 p.m., the Los Angeles Police Officers deployed to assist with the Echo Park closure encountered a large group of protestors near Lemoyne Street and Park Avenue in the vicinity of Echo Park Lake. Extraordinary efforts were made to allow for a peaceful assembly and display of 1st Amendment-protected activity. Unfortunately, several instigators in the crowd demonstrated a willful intent to disrupt the peaceful activity and began to use strobe lights against the officers, an activity that has the potential to cause significant injury to the eyes. An unlawful assembly was declared by the Incident Commander after the unlawful activity of individuals threatened the safety of the officers and all those present.
The declaration was announced at least 5 times in a period of at least 30 minutes. Additionally, after each declaration was voiced over loudspeakers, a request was made for each member of the media to identify themselves, remove themselves from the crowd, and walk to the pre-identified Crespo location at Park Avenue and Glendale Boulevard. The protesters failed to disperse, requiring officers to safely establish containment and begin detaining individuals one by one.
As members of the group were being individually detained, the officers learned that several credentialed and non-credentialed members of the media were part of the group. Members from the Department's Media Relations Division were summoned to assist in identifying these individuals and they were released at scene without being arrested.
The Department requests that media personnel follow the lawful orders of officers at the scene of any demonstration which has been declared unlawful, as delineated in California Penal
Code §409. In this incident, it was noted that most members of the media remained at the pre-designated Crespo location as requested.