Los Angeles

Protesters Released From Jail on Thanksgiving

About 90 demonstrators remained in LA County jails Thursday, and were initially told they would be there until after the holiday weekend.

The 70 or so Ferguson demonstrators who remained jailed Thursday after the arrest of about 175 Wednesday night in downtown Los Angeles were released by Thanksgiving dinner.

While anyone unable to post bail was initially told they would remain behind bars until after the holiday weekend, LAPD released them throughout the afternoon.

Many of the protesters said they were given no warning that they would be arrested.

"They corralled us into an intersection," protester Carlos Partida said. "Had they said, 'Hey, we're going to start arresting people, you guys have to leave,' I would have left. I did not want to be arrested."

"They didn't say anything," protester Tristan Bell said. "They cornered us in and people started trying to walk away."

Activist and journalist Jasmyne Cannick, who also joined the crowds in downtown Los Angeles, said the demonstrators were peaceful and should not have been arrested.

"Things did not get out of hand at Sixth and Hope until the LAPD arrived and boxed us in for no reason," Cannick said.

But Los Angeles police said they warned the crowds more than once, including with a sound truck.

Unless anyone who was arrested had an outstanding warrant, each demonstrator was released on their own recognizance by Thursday afternoon.

About 145 people were arrested in Los Angeles during the third night of protests related to the grand jury decision not to indict a Ferguson, Missouri police officer for the shooting death of an unarmed teenager.

More people were arrested in LA Wednesday than in Ferguson, which saw rioting and gunfire Monday and Tuesday nights after the announcement was made.

Crowds gathered downtown Wednesday night and crisscrossed streets for several hours before being stopped by a line of police in riot gear near the Central Library.

After an unlawful assembly was declared, police gave protesters a few minutes to disperse. Anyone who didn't, was arrested.

During the arrests, Beck told NBC4 the demonstrators had no one to blame but themselves.

"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.

An LAPD spokesman said the demonstration was endangering motorists as the protest meandered through traffic, and it became a matter of public safety.

Jane Yamamoto and Ted Chen contributed to this report.

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