Police scour Internet in Lakers violence probe

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Collin Robinson/KPCC

Laker fans start a small fire in the middle of the intersection at Hope St. and 9th St. in Downtown Los Angeles following the Lakers NBA Championship victory over the Boston Celtics on June 17, 2010.

Twitter and Facebook postings on the Internet are being used by authorities to try to identify people who committed crimes after the Los Angeles Lakers' NBA championship victory last week.

Investigators also plan to use images taken from police videos, area surveillance cameras and television reports.

After Thursday's game, people started fires, rocked cars, smashed windows and threw objects at fans and officers. A taxi cab was torched.

Lt. Paul Vernon said Tuesday that there have been 45 arrests so far. Investigators say it could take months to identify suspects. He says cell phones and video "has in essence deputized the public" in fighting crime.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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