LAPD officers disperse violent protesters with shooting of non-lethal projectiles

17:23, September 08, 2010      

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Riot gear-clad Los Angels Police Department officers fired at least two volleys of non-lethal projectiles on Tuesday night to disperse a violent crowd who stayed in the downtown Westlake District for the second night in protest of an officer's shooting death of a Guatamelan day laborer.

Police used bullhorns to declare an unlawful assembly around 9:30 p.m., and some in the crowd hurled rocks and bottles in the direction of officers, the Los Angeles Times reported. The police then fired non-lethal shots, sending hundreds of protesters scattering down the street near the Sixth Street and Union Avenue.

A man fell off his bicycle and struck his head, witnesses said.

The protest was sparked by an incident where police shot dead Manuel Jamines, 37, on Sunday after officials say he threatened someone with a knife.

Four police officers, who were on bicycles and called to investigate reports of a man with a knife threatening someone, ordered the man to drop the knife several times in both English and Spanish but he refused, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said earlier in the evening in defense of the police's behaviour.

The man then lounged at officers in a threatening manner with the knife over his head. The police then opened fire. The man died at the scene a short while later.

A group of 40 angry protesters began gathering outside the LAPD's Rampart Community Police Station on West Sixth Street Monday afternoon demanding justice. A small number of crowds refused to disperse late at night and threw rocks and bottles at officers, and set trash cans on fire. Two policemen were wounded.

Four people were arrested on misdemeanour charges of inciting a riot.

On Tuesday, protesters gathered again to voice their anger at the police. Police officers, who were in riot gear, stood by on high alert.

Source: Xinhua


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