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News Release

Friday, June 26, 2009

Media Relations

Iranian Demonstration for Human Rights NA09175rh


Sunday, June 28, 2009
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Federal Building
11000 Wilshire Blvd
West Los Angeles, Ca 90025  

The Incident Commander for the Department will be Captain Van Nathan.
To identify the Media Staging and Media Viewing Area.


In the United States of America, all people have a First Amendment right of free speech and assembly guaranteed by the Federal and State Constitutions.  The Los Angeles Police Department not only recognizes the right of free speech but will actively protect people in the exercise of this right.  The rights to march, demonstrate, protest, rally or perform other First Amendment activity comes with responsibility not to abuse the civil and property rights of others.  It is the Department’s hope that people who engage in public demonstrations in the City of Los Angeles will do so in a law-abiding manner in cooperation with the police.

Organizers, for the Protest and March are expected to begin assembling at approximately 1p.m. in front of the federal building on Wilshire Boulevard. Their march will begin at 1:00 p.m. and is intended to end at about 5:00 p.m.  


The route of travel for the participants when they leave the assembly area will be as follows:
  • East on Wilshire Boulevard to Westwood Boulevard
  • South on Westwood Boulevard to Santa Monica Boulevard
  • West on Santa Monica Boulevard to Sepulveda Boulevard
  • North on Sepulveda Boulevard to Wilshire Boulevard
  • Wilshire Boulevard back to the federal building

A news media viewing and staging area has been designated outside the anticipated area but  provides viewing and is within audible range of the event.  It takes into consideration the needs of the media, public and officer safety, police tactics, and the language of the Crespo decision.  For this event, the designated media viewing area is co-located with the media staging area.

Media parking and viewing area has been designated at the UCLA parking lot in the northeast corner of Veteran Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard.  An LAPD Public Information Officer (PIO) will be on hand to facilitate media coverage and assist the on-scene Incident Commander.  PIO’s will be wearing vests that identify them as LAPD PIO’s.  A Spanish speaking PIO will be available.


These mandates originate from a binding settlement agreement arising out of the 2000 Democratic National Convention, and include the following:

Under the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, it is not uncommon for large numbers of people to assemble for the purpose of demonstrating their opinions.  As such demonstrations, it is the Police Department’s obligation to protect individuals’ First Amendment rights, maintain order, and protect lives and property.  Occasionally, demonstrations become unlawful.  In such circumstances, pursuant to California Penal Code Sections 407 and 409, an assembly may be declared unlawful, an all persons present, including members of the news media, may be lawfully ordered to disperse.   

The law provides that police officers may use reasonable force to disperse an unlawful assembly and to affect the arrest of violators.  The Department’s Use of Force Policy applies to such actions.  The Department’s Policies concerning interaction with the news media are described in the relevant provision in Volume One of the Department Manual, the Department’s Emergency Operations Guide, and the Department’s Media Guide.

LAPD will recognize that the news media has a right, without interfering with police operations, to cover events that may result in the declaration of an unlawful assembly and order to disperse;

LAPD will make efforts to accommodate the media reporting obligation, however, such efforts will be made consistent with the LAPD’s primary obligation to maintain public safety and order;

When the LAPD develops an operations plan for an event that involves a public assembly, LAPD, where practicable, will designate an area outside of the anticipated impacted area, but within reasonable viewing distance and audible range of the event in which members of the media may assemble;

LAPD will take into consideration when selecting the viewing area public and officer safety, police tactics, input provided by the news media and the ability of the LAPD to prevent the location from becoming part of the impacted area;

To the extent reasonably possible, the LAPD will try to prevent the news media viewing area from becoming part of any area impacted by an unlawful assembly declaration and order to disperse;

The decision to assume risk of danger involved in covering a public event remains with the individual news reporter making such decision, provided that any such decision does not constitute a waiver by a reporter of any constitutional or other legal rights.

The selection of the news media viewing area will take into consideration public and officer safety, police tactics, input provided by the news media, if any, and the ability of the LAPD to prevent the location from becoming part of the impacted area.  The final selection of the viewing area location will be made by the Incident Commander (IC) in charge of the incident.    

To the extent reasonably possible and without compromising public or officer safety, the LAPD incident commander will relocate the news media viewing area if, due to changing conditions, the initial area no longer affords the media a reasonable view of the event or becomes a tactical concern for the incident commander;

The incident commander will designate an Information Officer as part of the incident command system in order to facilitate interaction with the media and the Information Officer will be clearly identified at the scene; and

After declaring an unlawful assembly the LAPD will designate a dispersal route for all persons present, including the media, to use when evacuating the area.


As was discussed with News Media Managers and members of the Los Angeles News Media committee, the LAPD recognizes the news media’s reporting obligation, and will accommodate reporters and photographers coverage by allowing them to pass through skirmish lines one time.  For officer safety reasons, reporters and photographers will not be allowed to pass through the lines multiple times as was explained and demonstrated for those members of the media who participated in the Department’s Mobile Field Force training.            

Should the event be declared an unlawful assembly, the LAPD will immediately notify the media by issuing a Department news advisory using City News Service and the LAPD Media Relations Section’s regular email delivery service.  The Department will make every effort to issue this news advisory prior to the issuance of a dispersal order.  In the event this scenario were to occur, media organizations should ensure that this vital information is disseminated to media field crews as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Any questions regarding this news advisory should be directed to the LAPD Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.