Menu
Home

U.S.

Police Arrest More Than 200 in Raid of 'Occupy L.A.' Camp

 

Los Angeles police said more than 200 people were arrested during a raid of the Occupy Los Angeles encampment early Wednesday. 

Police Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference that the arrests were mainly peaceful and there were no injuries.

Beck said an initial search of the camp turned up no drugs or weapons.

Around 500 helmeted Los Angeles Police Department officers burst out of City Hall doors and raced into the Occupy L.A. encampment early Wednesday, some firing rubber bullets while others began arresting a few of the protesters on the south lawn.

"Please do the right thing," one protester yelled at police as they began entering the encampment.

Defiant Los Angeles campers who were chanting slogans as the officers surrounded the park, booed when an unlawful assembly was declared, paving the way for officers to begin arresting those who didn't leave.

In the first moments of the raid, officers tore down a tent and tackled a tattooed man with a camera on City Hall steps and wrestled him to the ground. Someone yelled "police brutality."

Teams of four or five officers moved through the crowd making arrests one at a time, cuffing the hands of protesters with white plastic zip-ties. A circle of protesters sat with arms locked, many looking calm and smiling.

Opamago Cascini, 29, said the night had been a blast and he was willing to get arrested.

"It's easy to talk the talk, but you gotta walk the walk," Cascini said.

The LAPD declared the Occupy L.A. site an unlawful assembly about 12:30 a.m. and gave demonstrators 10 minutes to clear the area or be arrested, LAPD Officer Karen Rayner of the Media Relations Section told MyFoxLA.com.

Police also closed down exits on a major L.A. highway in anticipation of the raid.

Four off-ramps on the northbound and southbound Hollywood (101) Freeway were closed at 10:04 p.m. Tuesday, said Officer Anthony Martin of the California Highway Patrol.

Officers have also shut down a number of streets in downtown near the Civic Center site.

Early Wednesday some 30 Metro buses carrying between 40 and 45 officers drove from Dodger Stadium to the LAPD's staging site downtown. Supervising officers briefed the officers on the eviction at Dodger Stadium, with one telling a group of officers they needed to be prepared for some protesters to fight back.

"They've got a bunch of concrete gravel and other (things) they're going to throw at us," the supervisor said. "Please put your face masks down and watch each other's back."

LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman said police were also prepared to remove protesters who had climbed into trees.

Officers began the raid on the camp  two days after a deadline passed for protesters to clear out. 

About half of some 500 tents remained in Los Angles after a Monday morning eviction deadline and the remaining protesters showed no sign of leaving their weeks-old encampment, which is one of the largest still remaining in the country. 

Demonstrators and city officials were hoping any confrontation would be nonviolent, unlike evictions at similar camps around the country.

The movement against economic disparity and perceived corporate greed began with Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan two months ago, and police have removed Occupy demonstrators in other cities. Some of those instances involved pepper spray and tear gas.

In their anticipation of an eviction, the Los Angeles protesters designated medics designated with red crosses taped on clothing. Some protesters had gas masks. Broadcast footage showed police officers boarding buses that had lined up near Dodger Stadium at what appeared to be some sort of staging area.

Organizers at the camp packed up computer and technical equipment from the media tent.

Two men who have constructed an elaborate tree house fashioned a ladder pusher out of bamboo sticks tied together with twine. It was intended to push down a ladder that police may erect to get them out of the tree house.

Members of the National Lawyers guild had legal observers on hand for any possible eviction that may occur.

Pam Noles, a member of the camp media team, said the park is legally closed at 10:30 p.m.

LAPD spokespeople seemed confident the operation would not take long to complete and predicted that it would be "business as usual" in downtown Wednesday morning.

Click here for more on this story from MyFoxLA.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 4.28% dw 4.30%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.24% up 3.18%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.55% dw 4.58%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.41% dw 3.53%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.55% dw 3.59%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.36% up 4.34%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.06% -- 4.06%  
$30K Loan Graph 5.07% up 4.98%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.51% up 4.39%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.51% up 4.39%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.92% up 2.91%  
36 M Used Graph 3.43% up 3.42%  
48 M New Graph 3.18% up 3.17%  
48 M Used Graph 2.92% -- 2.92%  
60 M New Graph 3.19% up 3.18%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.35% up 0.34%  
1 yr Graph 0.66% -- 0.66%  
5 yr Graph 1.35% up 1.34%