As many as 130 people were arrested in downtown Los Angeles following a second night of Ferguson protests. Sirens blared and helicopters followed protestors overhead as they walked, biked and skateboarded through downtown streets. They carried signs in protest over the grand jury decision not to prosecute Darren Wilson, a white police officer for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18- year- old black man in Ferguson, Missouri.
Police remained on tactical alert this morning and are reported to be monitoring facebook and twitter for news of additional protests.
What started as a peaceful demonstration was escalated Tuesday evening when some protestors began to throw objects at police, damaged property and took their protest onto the freeway, forcing police to shut it down.
As the protest continued by early this morning, the large group of had split into two separate groups.
One group at Ninth and Flower was arrested.
At Temple and Broadway, the LAPD formed walls of officers in riot gear boxing in the protestors and wouldn’t allow them to leave.
Police corralled not only the protestors but reporters at the scene. As police moved in, the crowd was instructed by a leader in the group to move out of the street onto the sidewalk.
“We are all on the public sidewalk,” he shouted to police, “First you want us to disperse and now you aren’t letting us leave, we are being peaceful here. Everyone get your cell phones and cameras out — we need to record this!:”
One Latina protestor in the crowd attempted to appeal to a Latina officer, who had the name Rodriguez on her helmet.
“We aren’t saying that you’re bad, but how can you take orders to do something immoral?” the woman asked Officer Rodriguez, who firmly instructed the woman to keep her distance.
“How can you arrest us? The woman persisted, we are being peaceful and we’re exercising our right to protest.
After several minutes, a protestor who said her name was “Reyna” moved from the sidewalk and sat in the street facing one of the police lines and held up a sign that read: “No Justice No Peace,” drawn on a large artist sketchbook.
“I’m here because my cousin had his teeth knocked out by police in West Hollywood:, Reyna said. “This has just got to stop,I don’t want my kids to have to deal with this,” Reyna said.
Police informed the protestors on a public address system that they would be arrested and processed for disorderly conduct, unlawful assembly and suspicion of destruction of property.
As the police buses began to roll up, a group of protestors joined “Reyna” moving from the sidewalk to sit in the middle of the street . They sang, “Everything is going to be Alright,” one by one people plastic cuffs were placed on them.
Earlier in the evening, one protestor jumped on the hood of a police car, riding it like a wave as it was being driven by an officer.
“When it turns violent and destructive and it affects the public’s safety, we have to act,” said a police spokesman.