Unlawful Assembly Declared at Echo Park NR21095dm
March 26, 2021
Last night, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) continued to deploy officers in the area of Echo Park in support of the announced park closure and to ensure the safety of the surrounding community. Our ongoing operations are the result of intensive collaboration with Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell and his staff, the Mayor's office, Los Angeles Department of Recreation & Parks, and housing and other service providers at Echo Park.
An unlawful assembly was declared, and several dispersal orders were given in the area of Lemoyne Street and Park Avenue after numerous individuals amongst the protestors within the large crowd used high-powered LED strobe lights directed at officers' eyes causing temporary blindness. Repeated attempts to have the individuals stop their dangerous actions were unsuccessful. Efforts to isolate and remove those individuals were met with hostility and physical resistance from the larger crowd. Once the decision was made to initiate arrests, the crowd was surrounded and individually taken into custody without incidence of force or injury.
There were 182 arrests for 409 PC, Failure to Disperse, last night. During the course of the arrests, three individuals identified themselves as members of the media. Additional individuals identified themselves as members of the National Lawyers Guild. All were released at scene without further action.
Two officers sustained minor injuries and received medical treatment and released.
During the course of the protests there was damage caused to a marked LAPD vehicle and Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell's office on Sunset Boulevard was vandalized.
There were instances where less lethal devices were fired by officers during protest activities in the surrounding community in response to projectiles thrown at officers. Less lethal projectiles used by officers included (3) rounds of 37 MM, (1) round of 40 MM, and (6) rounds of Bean bags.
This morning, the last two individuals remaining inside the park declined repeated offers for housing from the service providers. Both persons were arrested without incident for Los Angeles Municipal Code sections 63.44 (B) (26) (d) Prohibition on erecting a tent in a City park and 63.44 (B) (7) Prohibition on using park areas or facility for a purpose contrary or inconsistent to its specific or designated purpose.
The Los Angeles Police Department thanks the Echo Park community for their patience last night. The Department continues to be committed to supporting our social service partners and elected officials in providing effective shelter and services for those persons experiencing homelessness. Echo Park remains closed to the public as sanitation crews begin clean-up operations.
The department remains committed to facilitating freedom of speech and requests that individuals express their views peacefully and lawfully.