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At least 76 arrested after Laker fans crowd into Downtown LA

Police arrested 76 people after more than 1,000 Los Angeles Lakers fans gathered near Staples Center on Sunday following the team’s NBA Finals win, with fans packing Figueroa Street just outside the arena to wave flags and chant.

Ten were injured and 30-plus buildings damaged.

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After a line of Los Angeles Police Department officers arrived on foot and in their vehicles, some fans threw glass bottles, rocks, and objects at them, police said.

That drew out officers in riot gear, who dispersed the crowd with less-lethal projectiles.

“A larger portion of the group broke off and began vandalizing businesses while continuing to engage in violent behavior, some aimed at responding officers,” police said in their statement.

Suspects were arrested on suspicion of various charges, including vandalism, assault on a police officer and failure to disperse.

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At least two fans were injured by the less-lethal projectiles and taken to nearby hospitals. LAPD said at least eight officers were treated for injuries.

Police said more than 30 buildings and a Metro bus were damaged during the celebration and riot.

The crowd arrived at Staples Center despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

City officials attempted to get people to stay away from the area, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, or to at least wear masks if they chose to show up and mingle in large crowds.

“Please celebrate safely at home,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Twitter. “Do not gather at Staples Center.

“It’s still not safe to gather in groups,” the mayor said.

There have been more than 282,000 positive cases of coronavirus in L.A. County alone. At least 6,771 people have died in the county from the illness.

“Let’s honor our city’s triumph by protecting others and making sure we don’t spread the virus,” Garcetti said.


Source: Orange County Register

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