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DA Announces Charges Against 61 People Involved in LA Civil Unrest

Felony looting carries a potential maximum three-year county jail sentence, and some of the looting cases may require that bail be posted since a state of emergency was declared in Los Angeles County, officials said.

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Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said Wednesday that 61 people have been charged with crimes committed during civil unrest over the past several days.

A majority of the charges stem from looting, while other charges involve assault/and or battery on a peace officer, robbery, burglary, possession of a destructive device, identity theft and receiving stolen property, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Felony looting carries a potential maximum three-year county jail sentence, and some of the looting cases may require that bail be posted since a state of emergency was declared in Los Angeles County, officials said.

Additional potential cases are expected to be presented by various law enforcement agencies for filing consideration this week, with other potential cases not yet turned over to the District Attorney's Office because some people who were arrested over the past several days were cited and released.

"I support the peaceful organized protests that already have brought needed attention to racial inequality throughout our society, including in the criminal justice system," the county's top prosecutor said in a written statement. "I also have a constitutional and ethical duty to protect the public and prosecute people who loot and vandalize our community."

Lacey has been a frequent target of protesters who say she has been insufficiently aggressive in prosecuting police for alleged misconduct, a charge she denies. Activists from Black Lives Matter staged another in a series of protests outside Lacey's office on Wednesday.

The charges filed by Lacey's office include cases against:
-- 17 people charged at the Airport Courthouse -- which covers some of the western portions of Los Angeles County, including Santa Monica and Beverly Hills -- with crimes including felony looting, burglary and identity theft, along with misdemeanor looting and burglary;
-- 15 people charged with felony looting, fleeing a pursuing peace officer's vehicle or attempted looting in Compton;
-- 11 people charged in downtown Los Angeles with felonies, including looting, robbery and assault on a peace officer;
-- six people charged with felony looting or attempted looting in Norwalk;
-- five people charged with felony looting in Van Nuys;
-- three people charged with felony looting in Long Beach;
-- three people charged with attempted looting in Torrance; and
-- a 15-year-old youth charged in juvenile court with assault on a peace officer.

Eleven other potential cases were declined by the District Attorney's Office due to insufficient evidence, with 19 others referred back to law enforcement agencies for further investigation.

Prosecutors said they referred 31 potential cases to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, which announced late this afternoon that it had filed looting and other charges against two men who were jailed.

Daniel Heredia, 23, was charged with one count each of looting, burglary, violation of curfew, petty theft and trespassing. He allegedly fled from the Smoke and Vape Shop on Western Avenue and was arrested Saturday at Sixth Street and Western Avenue, according to the City Attorney's Office.

Ronney Stringfellow, 24, was charged with one count each of looting, burglary, attempted petty theft, violation of curfew and trespassing stemming from his arrest at a Walgreens store at 617 W. Seventh St., according to the City Attorney's Office.

The District Attorney's Office prosecutes all felony cases in the county and misdemeanors that occur in unincorporated areas of the county and in most cities.

Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Torrance, Burbank, Inglewood, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach prosecute misdemeanor offenses that occur in their jurisdictions.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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