Dodger World Series celebrations devolved into looting and vandalism, leading to 18 arrests and left three Los Angeles police officers with minor injuries, authorities said Wednesday.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arrested 10 suspects, including eight in the East Los Angeles area for failing to obey a dispersal order. No major property damage occurred in its patrol areas.
Meanwhile, the LAPD arrested eight people, and three officers suffered minor injuries in doing so.
Around 1 a.m., the department declared an unlawful assembly in an area roughly bounded by Eighth Street and Pico Boulevard from Broadway to Figueroa Street.
Celebrations of the Dodgers’ first championship since 1988 erupted across the city Tuesday night, but things got unruly in downtown Los Angeles, where crowds looted a tractor-trailer and some retail outlets, while throwing objects at officers and vandalizing a police vehicle.
“We are still dealing with a large, and at times unruly, crowd in the Downtown L.A. area,” the LAPD tweeted just after midnight. “There are several street closures and areas of heavy traffic congestion.
“Please stay clear of the (downtown Los Angeles) area and expect a large police presence.”
Officers, some on horseback, made their way through downtown streets, occasionally firing non-lethal rounds to disperse a crowd in the area of Eighth and Flower streets, video posted online showed.
Fireworks were being set off in the area of Eighth Street and Grand Avenue and a bonfire was ignited near Flower and Ninth streets, where glass bottles were thrown at officers, police said.
Video posted on social media showed a Los Angeles police cruiser covered in graffiti and the back window shattered, while an officer wearing riot gear sat inside.
A big rig passing through a large crowd of fans celebrating near Grand Avenue and Olympic Boulevard around 11 p.m. Tuesday was looted.
Video from the scene showed fans inside the trailer of the big rig, grabbing boxes, while others ran along the top of the trailer. Some in the crowd tried to get inside the cab, ABC7 reported.
KNX Newsradio reported that a downtown Footlocker location had been looted. And video from NBC4 showed multiple young people exiting a Jersey Mike’s USA location after presumably entering unlawfully.
A stretch of Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles was completely blocked by celebrations until about 11:10 p.m., when Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies moved in and issued an order to disperse. Fans in vehicles in downtown Los Angeles and Pacoima did doughnuts in some intersections, causing smoke from the tires to fill the streets.
Video from CBS2 showed a driver doing doughnuts as fans tossed fireworks into the intersection. The vehicle ran over the fireworks, at least one of which ignited the rear passenger side tire, lighting up the vehicle’s undercarriage as fans yelled to alert the driver of the flames shooting from the rear of the vehicle.
There was also a celebration outside Dodger Stadium while fireworks erupted in Echo Park near the stadium.
Streets in the area were closed to traffic, with police helping drivers get out of the area after the game.
Crowds could be heard screaming and cheering as motorists honked their horns. Dozens of people were on sidewalks celebrating at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Logan Street.
Just to the west, just past a police blockade at Alvarado Street just before 11 p.m., one young male on the sidewalk was overheard saying to his friends, “Let’s go (expletive) loot!” as a driver lobbed small fireworks into the path of pedestrians and drivers.
A few minutes later, police left the area and motorists began drifting maneuvers. Smoke from burnt rubber at times made the competing cars circling the Sunset and Alvarado intersection nearly disappear. This carried on — with powerful fireworks creating a gunfire-like backdrop — until just after 11:30 p.m. when police re-responded.
The Los Angeles Police Department was placed under a citywide tactical alert as a precaution during celebrations of the Dodgers’ championship, according to Officer Luis Garcia.
A tactical alert is a “an announcement of the anticipated redistribution of on-duty officers to achieve personnel levels necessary for controlling an emergency,” according to the LAPD. Officers are kept on the job beyond the end of their shifts.
Lexis-Olivier Ray, a photographer and journalist with L.A. Taco, said he was attacked by a group of police officers amid the unrest. He posted on Twitter that a group of officers “just broke my camera mic, tackled me to the ground and beat me with their batons, after I identified myself as a journalist multiple times.”
He posted video of the encounter on Twitter, and said it was the second time in the past six months he has been injured by police while working.
The Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists issued a statement calling on the city’s Police Commission to investigate to “determine whether officers used excessive force and whether LAPD policies were correctly followed.”
“Both journalists and members of the public have a First Amendment right to document police activities in public spaces without harassment,” according to SPJ-LA. “We must ensure that these rights are protected.”
Metro bus service was delayed or detoured in several areas due to fan celebrations, according to Metro’s Rick Jager.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, retired Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully and LAPD Chief Michel Moore were among those who had urged fans to celebrate at home.
“As we celebrate this incredible @Dodgers victory tonight, we need to remember that COVID-19 is still here and still dangerous,” Garcetti tweeted. “Please don’t host or attend victory parties, or gather in large groups to celebrate. Let’s keep L.A. safe.”
In a video played on the LAPD’s Twitter account, Scully said, “I know you want to celebrate like everybody else, but let’s do it properly, let’s do it the way the Dodgers did, with pride in themselves and pride in our great city. Let’s show the rest of the country that we know how to celebrate the proper way.”
Moore tweeted his congratulations to the Dodgers for “a hard-fought #WorldSeries victory,” then added, “Now let’s all make them proud by celebrating with class and style.”
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