As many as 130 people arrested in downtown Los Angeles protesting the Ferguson, Miss. grand jury decision were charged with a civil disobedience misdemeanor.
Some CSUN students were among the protestors, and said they were held far longer than expected. They believed that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck wanted to make an example of them to encourage additional protests. The CSUN protestors were held for over two days, and were not released until Thanksgiving Day.
Many protestors said they were attempting to disperse when police moved in, corralling them, and wouldn’t allow them to leave.
They pointed out that they were not involved in illegal activity and their late night protest was “peaceful.” Police said their protest became a public safety issue, although the downtown streets were void of traffic at the time of the arrests.
The L.A. protest was similar to those in other U.S. cities that were held over three days following the grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer for the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.
The L.A. protestors said they attempted to appeal to police but were told that they were under arrest and ordered the crowd to sit down to await police buses that arrived near the intersection of Temple and Broadway streets.
LAPD officers also arrested a separate group of protestors at the intersection of Flower and 9th streets. Police in riot gear surrounded the protestors and arrested them one by one. Some of those arrested indicated they have asked for a meeting with Beck to voice their concerns.