More than 100 Ferguson Protesters Arrested on Third Night of Demonstrations - NBC Southern California

More than 100 Ferguson Protesters Arrested on Third Night of Demonstrations

About 200 largely peaceful demonstrators crisscrossed downtown streets for several hours Wednesday

130 Ferguson Protesters Arrested in Downtown LA

About 130 Ferguson protesters - 70 males and 60 females - were arrested in a third night of demonstrations in downtown LA. Robert Kovacik reports from downtown Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 11 on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2014. (Published Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014)

Police arrested about 130 demonstrators Wednesday night in downtown Los Angeles after an hours-long march for a third night to protest a Missouri fatal police shooting as the LAPD again declared a citywide tactical alert.

About 200 demonstrators crisscrossed downtown streets for several hours Wednesday afternoon and evening before they were stopped by lines of riot-clad police near the Central Library.

Authorities declared an unlawful assembly and several dozen people are expected to be detained.

And LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said if anyone arrested ends up spending Thanksgiving locked up in jail, they only have themselves to blame.

"This Was Not Our Choice": Chief Beck Said Protesters Could Have Avoided Arrests Before Thanksgiving

[LA] "This Was Not Our Choice": Chief Beck Said Protesters Could Have Avoided Arrests Before Thanksgiving
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the 130 Ferguson protesters arrested in downtown Los Angeles were given the opportunity to disperse when an unlawful assembly was declared on the night before Thanksgiving. Beverly White reports from downtown Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 11 on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2014.
(Published Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014)

"Well Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so it is possible. That's not our goal... they had multiple opportunities to disperse, multiple opportunities to comply with the lawful orders of police. This was not our choice." Chief Beck said.

Earlier, the demonstrators marched to a federal building and police headquarters but they were turned away from the county jail and the Staples Center arena, where the Los Angeles Lakers were playing.

"What we were trying to do was go down to the Staples Center where the game was playing so that way we would have an audience," a protester named Jerry said.

And she said she took steps to avoid being arrested when police arrived, attempting to look less like a troublemaker. "I took off my handkerchief mask and I stuck close to these guys and pretended I was an intern if anyone asked," Jerry said.

Some who were arrested complained they did not understand why, as they had been behaving peacefully, while some said getting into trouble with the law was a badge of honor.

"People have to say this cannot go on, the shooting of innocent black men, unarmed, is an absolute outrage that I am proud to be arrested resisting," protester Stephen Jaeger said.

And one mother, who spoke anonymously, told NBC4 she was devestated as her 17-year-old had been arrested on the night before Thanksgiving.

"I knew something was going to happen. She actually did come down for the rally, the protest, and she said she couldn't get out. I told her get to the back find a back way out of there. She said, 'Mom I can't they're closing everything, I can't get out," the woman said.

Legal analyst Royal Oakes believes police could be overreaching by arresting so many protesters. 

"Police could be on thin ice legally arresting them without actually witnessing a misdemeanor. Simply gathering and then failing to disperse when ordered to leave may not be enough to justify an arrest," Oakes said.

However LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman said it was a matter of public safety.

"They engaged in similar behaviors last night, they started running through the streets, endangering motorists, endangering the public out there and we are not going to tolerate that any more," Lt. Neiman said.

Ferguson Protests Continue in Downtown LA

[LA] Ferguson Protests Continue in Downtown LA
Ferguson protests in Los Angeles continued into a third day, staying mostly peaceful in Downtown LA. John Cádiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014.
(Published Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014)

Nine people were arrested earlier Wednesday after they sat down in a freeway bus lane. Lanes were blocked as officers removed the protesters and an anti-police message that was scrawled on the freeway's southbound lanes near the Alvarado Street exit.

More than 200 protesters have been arrested over the past three days, mostly for disturbing the peace. One was for felony assault on a police officer and 15 were for curfew violations.

The protests follow a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, on Aug. 9, sparking months of protests in the St. Louis suburb.

LAPD Chief "Proud" of Officers' Handling of Protests

[LA] LAPD Chief "Proud" of Officers' Handling of Protests
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he was proud of his officers for using restraint when dealing with crowds of protesters angry over the decision not to indict an officer in Ferguson, Missouri, in the shooting death of an unarmed teenager. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014.
(Published Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014)

The grand jury's decision was followed by two days of protests across the country.

One of the larger gatherings Tuesday began at Leimert Park. Marchers moved through South Los Angeles and conducted a sit-in at an intersection before officers blocked passage under a freeway.

At LAPD headquarters, protesters broke off into three or four groups. Some protesters attempted to enter the 101 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles, bringing traffic to a stop. Protests grew tense late Tuesday when some people threw debris onto the freeway.

Nearly 200 Arrests in Protests

[LA] LAPD Chief: Nearly 200 Arrests After Second Night of Protests
Los Angeles' police chief discusses the latest round of arrests in connection with LA protests following a grand jury's decision in Ferguson, Missouri. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 news at Noon on Wednesday Nov. 26, 2014.
(Published Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014)

Minor vandalism was reported, including graffitti on the 101 Freeway and vandalism to a police vehicle, said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

"We want people to speak, but they cannot do so at the expense of others," Beck said.

An officer was injured when he was struck in the head by a frozen water bottle. The officer was not seriously injured, Beck said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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