Los Angeles

Activists, Demonstrators Condemn LAPD Handling of Protests

Protesters who object to how LAPD responded to demonstrations in the wake of the Ferguson grand jury decision shared their experiences at a news conference Friday.

Some 370 people have been arrested in Los Angeles during nights of protest.

"Of particular concern is the LAPD practice of surrounding a group of protesters and declaring an unlawful assembly at one time and place, and then using that declaration as the basis to surround and arrest over a hundred peaceful protesters at a different location at a later time," said Erin Darling, co-president of the National Lawyers Guild Los Angeles Chapter.

"Peacefully assembled protesters exercising their First Amendment rights should not be arrested en masse just because LAPD wants a march to end."

One woman later told NBC4 said she was not part of the protests but was arrested anyway. Now, she's afraid to walk around downtown.

"I was walking down my street, I get arrested and I spend 27 hours in custody," Leigh Wiley said. "I could hear news helicopters, I went outside to see what was going on, and I saw a very peaceful protest taking place."

Wiley said police in riot gear stopped her on the street.

"They've got hoods on, they have vests on, they have batons, they have guns with rubber bullets, they have handcuffs. It was a really intimidating situation," she said.

Wiley said she told officers she lived in downtown LA for years before officers grabbed her arm with such force, it left a bruise. She was arrested for disturbing the peace.

"I was completely shocked. I could not believe I was in jail. I just kept thinking ... they were going to realize this was a mistake," Wiley said. "I'm always very curious about what's going on in downtown, and I always want to go out and see it, and now, I'm just going to stay inside."

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