Los Angeles: Hundreds of Los Angeles Police Department officers were called in from patrol duties to monitor protests across the city of Los Angeles as an estimated 26,000 Los Angeles Unified School District students walked out of their classrooms today.
The students, mostly from 56 schools across Los Angeles, gathered in various locations to protest federal immigration legislation. The two largest gatherings occurred at downtown City Hall, and the Van Nuys civic center complex.
At City Hall, the crowd estimate reached 2,000 at about 12:30 PM when Mayor Villaraigosa addressed the protesters. In the Valley, the crowd estimate reached as high as 1,000. Students came and went at the two protest sites between 10 AM and 6 PM.
Officers made no arrests at City Hall, four in Van Nuys, and cited one juvenile. The four arrested were adults, all related to the same incident. A man was swinging a tree limb in the crowd at the Van Nuys protest. When officers approached the man, he refused to drop the tree limb. Two officers tried to disarm him, and three other adults joined in to resist the officers. One of the persons threw a gallon sized milk jug filled with water, which struck one of the officers in the head. All four of the adults were arrested for assault on the police officers. Police cited one juvenile for disorderly conduct after he persisted in impeding traffic by standing in the roadway.
Shortly after the Mayor addressed the students at noon time downtown, a group of several hundred protesters walked westbound on First Street, toward Main Street. Several dozen of those students meandered onto the lanes of the 101 Freeway, tying up traffic for several minutes, until CHP officers were able to move the students off the freeway.
At the Mayor’s 5:15 PM press conference, Chief William Bratton warned parents that their children’s actions put the students and the city at risk. “We had to take officers away from their normal patrol duties to monitor the protest. That puts the city at risk. Parents need to get involved and encourage their kids to stay in school.”
The City was on Tactical Alert from 9 AM until 5:30 PM.