June 18, 2010
LAKERS WIN, LA FOLKS RIOTS
Los Angeles-- As the EPCC NEWS expected, the Los Angeles Lakers victory in the NBA championships ended with the Los Angeles Police Department officers clashes with rowdy fans.
The EPCC said, "this is only a symptoms of the economic crisis and the people's anger on the stringent budget cuts, public services cut and higher rates that the government ( from the federal to the city) is imposing on the people of LA. Don't ever believe the official line that the Lakers victory is the sole cause of these disturbances."
The EPCC NEWS noticed that the LAPD brought large numbers of officers into the Staples Center area hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's looting and violence. This was the magnet for violence. The mere presence of the police incites people to attack the LAPD.
Most of the fans went on a rampage in some parts of downtown L.A., throwing rocks, shattering windows, rocking cars and setting fire to at least one vehicle and several other objects.
At Figueroa Street and Venice Boulevard, police fired less-than-lethal rounds at fans after they overturned a city parking enforcement vehicle and set fire to orange fire cones.
Among other incidents:
--The YMCA at 11th and Olive was attacked by crowds who smashed windows and tagged walls with graffiti.
--Crowds rocked and jumped on cars around Figueroa Street and nearby roads.
--A KCAL-TV Channel 9 news van was attacked by a crowd, which smashed its windows.
--Groups were seen in several downtown locations knocking down news racks, throwing bottles at officers, setting off firecrackers and defacing signs.
The LAPD was making numerous arrests, but the exact number was not immediately available.
Police were able to clear the areas around Staples Center and the L.A. Live shopping complex. But the crowds moved into surrounding neighborhoods, causing problems. Some fans ran onto the freeway.
Police Chief Charlie Beck expressed general satisfaction with the way the massive police force was handling the challenge of dispersing 20,000 people and tamping down several violent groups.
"Obviously, some people didn't heed our admonishments to celebrate safely, but unlike last year this has never gotten out of control. This has been a controlled exercise in crowd control. Unfortunately, we've had to manage some people more than we would have wanted."