Over 500 protesters arrested, officers attacked, businesses looted in downtown LA
LOS ANGELES - Over 500 people were arrested Friday night during a massive and violent police brutality protest in downtown Los Angeles.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department a total of 533 arrests were made. The charges include burglary, looting, probation violation, battery on police officer, attempted murder and failure to disperse. Police say all but 18 of the arrestees have released on their own recognizance.
At least six Los Angeles Police officers were injured during the protests, a statement from the department says the officers sustained non-life-threatening injuries which include lacerations and impact wounds.
Police worked Saturday morning to disperse crowds in downtown as multiple businesses were looted following demonstrations against the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Monday.
Several other protests are planned for Saturday.
The Target store at Seventh and Figueroa streets, a Rite Aid store at 7th and Hope streets, along with the 6th Street Market and the Starbucks on Sixth Street between Broadway and Main Street and jewelry stores near Sixth Street and Broadway were among the businesses looted just before midnight Friday.
RELATED: Protests declared unlawful assembly throughout downtown LA
The police department says after repeated acts of violence and damage, they declared an unlawful assembly throughout downtown LA… notifying residents to stay indoors and for businesses to shut down early.
A trash can was set on fire near Olympic Boulevard and Hill Street and quickly extinguished by officers. Three fires were set near the intersection of Hill and Seventh streets, one in the intersection, another south of the intersection on Hill Street and a third on a sidewalk near a building.
As Los Angeles firefighters arrived to extinguish the flames, someone in the crowd grabbed a department fire hose and tossed it into the fire burning
in the intersection.
At least one Los Angeles Police Department cruiser was tagged with graffiti.
Police set up skirmish lines throughout the downtown area and, in at least one instance, fired non-lethal ammunition as they pushed a crowd out of the area, some in the crowd stopping to hide behind vehicles to throw objects at officers.
The looting came about four hours after several people were detained shortly before 7 p.m. near Fifth and Olive streets for allegedly throwing objects at officers and damaging police cars that were parked near the intersection, according to broadcast reports from the scene.
A protestor was seen on video spraying a fire extinguisher at officers, then running through the crowd spraying fire retardant.
"I'm sorry that L.A. failed tonight,'' LAPD Chief Michel Moore told reporters Friday night. "Our ability to have a demonstration, express our views, our anger, our disgust unfortunately turned into an unruly situation with officers being injured, property damage occurring.''
An officer was put in a chokehold and kicked by some protesters in the Pershing Square area. It was not clear if this was the same officer who was sent to a hospital with injuries from a confrontation with demonstrators.
Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Gisselle Espinoza told reporters it was disappointing to see protestors attack the officer.
"This was not what we wanted,'' Espinoza said. "We wanted it to be peaceful. We want people to exercise their First Amendment right to assemble, for speech and we wanted this to be peaceful. We want peoples' voices heard and that's not what's happening.''
No arrests have been made in connection with the attack on the officer, Espinoza said.
FOX 11’s Alexi Chidbachian contributed to this report