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Violent Activists Block Police From Clearing Los Angeles Homeless Encampment

Los Angeles, CA – Activists pushed Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers out of Echo Park when the city tried to tear down a homeless encampment there on Wednesday.

Protesters began gathering at about 7 a.m. on March 24 to protect the tent city that has popped up in the area and grown dramatically in recent months, KTLA reported.

The homelessness problem in Los Angeles worsened during the pandemic.

LAPD began blocking off streets at about 10 p.m. and pushing back protesters who were still in the area.

But videos posted to social media showed the tide quickly turned on the police as hundreds of protesters chanting “move back” pushed officers out of the area.

Videos showed LAPD vehicles backing up as protesters marched toward them.

KTLA reported that LAPD deployed gas to disperse the crowd.

Officers in riot gear armed with batons formed a line that started at Sunset Boulevard and moved south down Glendale Boulevard, KTLA reported.

There was another skirmish line on the opposite side of the park with dozens of police cars on site.

Things got more violent around 11 p.m., KTLA reported.

LAPD announced two unlawful assemblies at about 11:20 p.m. and issued “dispersal orders were issued at Santa Ynez Street and Glendale Blvd due to officers being assaulted with rocks, bottles and smoke bombs.”

At 11:42 p.m., LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced that protesters inside the park would be allowed to stay overnight, KTLA reported.

“No one else may enter. 24 hr notice for those in the park to leave. Housing resources are being provided to everyone,” Chief Moore tweeted.

LAPD said police were setting up fencing and that officers would stay on the scene overnight, KTLA reported.

Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell released a statement that said more than 120 people living in the park had already been moved into transitional housing.

O’Farrell said his office has been worked with the city for months to find alternative housing for the homeless living in Echo Park and the said the shutdown of the encampment would allow the city to make much needed repairs and improvements, KTLA reported.

The councilmember is caught in the middle between activists who want to keep the homeless encampment and residents who actually own homes in his voting district.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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