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Ferguson: Protesters block 101 freeway on second night of LA demonstrations (updated)

California Highway Patrol officers block protesters from entering a highway ramp downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, a day after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
California Highway Patrol officers block protesters from entering a highway ramp downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, a day after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
Nick Ut/AP
California Highway Patrol officers block protesters from entering a highway ramp downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, a day after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
People shout, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" while lying in the street as part of a symbolic protest on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 against police shootings and the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Erika Aguilar/KPCC
California Highway Patrol officers block protesters from entering a highway ramp downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, a day after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
About 40 protesters gathered at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 at the intersection of Crenshaw and Martin Luther King boulevards for a second day of Ferguson-related demonstrations.
Erika Aguilar/KPCC
California Highway Patrol officers block protesters from entering a highway ramp downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, a day after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
Protesters lie in the middle of the intersection of Crenshaw and MLK boulevards, stalling traffic for a short moment on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 in a Ferguson-related protest.
Erika Aguilar/KPCC
California Highway Patrol officers block protesters from entering a highway ramp downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, a day after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
After demonstrating near Leimert Park in South Los Angeles, the crowd marched east on Martin Luther King Boulevard toward the LAPD Southwest police station on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014.
Erika Aguilar/KPCC
California Highway Patrol officers block protesters from entering a highway ramp downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, a day after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
Protesters shut down traffic by blocking the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills after marching from Leimert Park in reaction to the grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer who had shot dead an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri on November 24, 2014 in Los Angeles.
David McNew/Getty Images
California Highway Patrol officers block protesters from entering a highway ramp downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, a day after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
Protesters lie down in a major intersection to block traffic in reaction to the grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer who had shot dead an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri on November 24, 2014 in Los Angeles.
David McNew/Getty Images
California Highway Patrol officers block protesters from entering a highway ramp downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, a day after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
Protesters block traffic at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills after marching from Leimert Park in reaction to the grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer who had shot dead an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri on November 24, 2014 in Los Angeles.
David McNew/Getty Images
California Highway Patrol officers block protesters from entering a highway ramp downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, a day after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
Protesters lie down in a major intersection to block traffic in reaction to the grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer who had shot dead an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri on November 24, 2014 in Los Angeles.
David McNew/Getty Images
California Highway Patrol officers block protesters from entering a highway ramp downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, a day after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
A woman faces police officers advancing to arrest anyone who fails to disperse as demonstrators react to the grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer who had shot dead an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, in the early morning hours of November 25, 2014 in Los Angeles.
David McNew/Getty Images


Update 9:30 p.m.: LAPD chases protesters off the 101 Freeway

Protesters of a Missouri police shooting flooded the U.S. 101 freeway and brought traffic to a halt in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday evening

A few dozen protesters who broke off from a crowd that had gathered at police headquarters and ran on to the nearby 101 Tuesday night, carrying barricades that they spread across freeway lanes and stopping traffic in both directions.

California Highway Patrol and LAPD officers chased the protesters off the freeway a few minutes later and corralled them on the Grand Avenue overpass before ordering them to evacuate to the north.

The California Highway Patrol tweeted that arrests were made, but gave no details. 

https://twitter.com/CHPCentralLA/status/537488024829837312

https://twitter.com/KevinTakumi/status/537481550225760256

—AP

Update 9:23 p.m.: L.A. protesters stop traffic on the 101 Freeway

Ferguson-related protests in Los Angeles on Tuesday night disrupted traffic on the 101 Freeway while another group of about 300 gathered outside LAPD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A growing crowd of at nearly 300 people rallied outside Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters in downtown Los Angeles to protest a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer in the death of an unarmed black man.

Another group of protesters have swarmed the 101 Freeway, stopping traffic and drawing news helicopters, according to media reports. 

https://twitter.com/CHPCentralLA/status/537470326360133632

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that a few hundred protesters engaged police in a standoff at a freeway ramp and surrounding a California Highway Patrol car in a tense scene in south Los Angeles.

The protest began in late afternoon, highlighted by some marchers lying down with their hands in the air to block a major intersection, but no arrests were made, and the demonstration resumed.

By early evening, protesters marched to the edge of Interstate 110, a freeway they had blocked late Monday night, but turned around after facing off with rows of police, the AP reported.

Shortly after that, a group of several dozen protesters surrounded a nearby CHP car, with some jumping on the vehicle and draping a flag over it before other officers arrived at the scene and helped move them away.

The marchers and others converged on police headquarters late in the evening, shouting slogans and at times confronting officers, but remaining mostly peaceful.

Update 6:02 p.m. Protesters march, block Los Angeles streets

A healthy group of more than 70 protesters took over the intersection of Crenshaw and Martin Luther King boulevards around 4 p.m. Tuesday in a second round of Ferguson-related protests in Los Angeles.

People lay down in the middle of the intersection, completely blocking traffic and shouting, "Hands up, don't shoot." It was a symbolic demonstration of the four hours Michael Brown’s body lay in the street in Ferguson, Mo. after he was shot and killed in August.

“It’s good to watch and observe and see everybody in solidarity but I don’t feel like anything is changing right now,” said Fam Udeorji, 28, of L.A. “We already lost.” 

Udeorji said he wants to see police officers wear body cameras. In a speech Tuesday morning, the family of Michael Brown called for body cameras for police. There were no police cameras that captured the shooting of Brown. 

“If a cop has a camera on his chest, he’s going to constantly be thinking about maybe this isn’t protocol,” Udeorji said. “They’re scared of rules. They’re not scared of people being upset over emotions.” 

Protesters at Crenshaw held signs demanding that the L.A. district attorney file charges against the two L.A. police officers who shot and killed Ezell Ford in South L.A. on Aug. 11.

Like Brown, Ford was an unarmed black man. And like Brown, there are discrepancies between the story told by police — that he tried to grab an officer’s gun — and the stories circulating in the neighborhood.

Keyanna Celina is with the Coalition for Community Control Over the Police, the group that called for protests Tuesday. She said the coalition plans to demonstrate again on Wednesday at the federal courthouse in downtown L.A. to ask for a federal review of both the Ferguson and L.A. shootings. 

“We’re going to keep pushing and keep mobilizing our community,” she said. “We know this is an uphill battle.” 

After shutting down traffic for a short while, the crowd marched east on Martin Luther King Boulevard, stopping at the LAPD Southwest Division station to protest further.

Erika Aguilar/KPCC

Update 4:46 p.m. Demonstrators march, block intersections as they protest grand jury decision

Protesters Tuesday afternoon blocked the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, shouting "hands up" as they demonstrated against the grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of the unarmed Michael Brown.

Tweet 1

Traffic at Crenshaw and MLK slowly started to pick up again as the protesters left, marching east on MLK. They moved to MLK and Western Avenue, blocking the intersection there.

MLK & Western tweet

KPCC staff

Update 2:00 p.m. LAPD Chief Beck confirms 3 overnight arrests

Los Angeles residents and police were gearing up for another day of Ferguson-related demonstrations Tuesday in protest of the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, following three people being arrested in L.A. protests Monday night.

Law enforcement officials asked people to again remain calm and non-violent during the protests.
 
"The vast majority of people behaved very well," Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference Tuesday morning. "I was extremely proud of the people of Los Angeles."
 
Crowds gathered at Leimert Park Monday night and groups also moved into Beverly Hills, Mid-Wilshire and onto the 110 Freeway.
 
The demonstrations were mostly peaceful. Some groups blocked traffic at intersections as they marched for hours throughout Central Los Angeles. At one point, a large crowd of more than 100 people pushed over a metal fence on the 110-Freeway near downtown and halted traffic.
 
“There’s a reason why there are fences and signs on the freeway,” said Capt. Greg Hammond of the California Highway patrol. “It’s not safe.”
 
Hammond said 100 CHP officers responded. He said a female CHP officer was hit by debris from that incident. No arrests were made on the freeway.
 
But three people were arrested later in the evening, Beck said. One person was arrested for allegedly assaulting an officer, another was arrested for not leaving the area when police gave the disperse order and a third person was arrested for public intoxication.
 
Beck said there doesn’t seem to be any damage from demonstrations last night. Protesters wrote on the LAPD headquarters sidewalks and buildings with chalk, but no one was arrested for that.  
 
"Today, we hope for a calmer day,” Beck said. “I know that this isn't over. This is a wound of the nation that will not heal immediately."
 
Near the end of the press conference, Beck was asked about his reaction to the images and reports coming out of Ferguson of protests that turned violent.
 
Beck said it was reminiscent of the riots that tore through L.A. in 1992, following the acquittal of police officers who beat motorist Rodney King after a traffic stop.
 
"I was extremely worried that people would lose their lives like they did 20 years ago," he said.
 
Beck said the LAPD will keep officer staffing up because they expect more demonstrations Tuesday afternoon.

— Erika Aguilar/KPCC

Previously: Several arrests were made during Monday night's mostly peaceful protests to the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury decision to the Michael Brown shooting, according to various media reports.

From NBC Los Angeles:

"LAPD headquarters marked the site of the most sustained protest, which carried on well into Tuesday morning. The protest was largely peaceful, despite three arrests -- the details of which were not immediately available.

The crowd eventually dispersed at around 3:30 a.m., with another protest scheduled for Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Crenshaw Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

One protest reached the world famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, where demonstrators sat down in the middle of an intersection as police kept watch. The protesters gathered in silence for 4 and a half minutes, symbolizing the amount of time Brown was on the street in Ferguson without medical attention."

Police also tackled and handcuffed a protester outside of LAPD headquarters in the early morning hours, according to the Los Angeles Times. Non-lethal projectiles were also used to break up a larger protest near downtown Los Angeles. From the Times:

After midnight Tuesday, a larger protest near downtown Los Angeles was dispersed by LAPD officers using nonlethal projectiles. The demonstrators, who at one point numbered more than 300, marched across Los Angeles on Monday night, briefly closing the 110 Freeway as they protested the grand jury decision not to indict the police officer, who is white, in the shooting of the black teenager.

The main group marched to USC and then toward Staples Center, where confrontations with police grew tense. A group of protesters pushed at a fence that blocked off a hill that led to the 110 Freeway and knocked it over. People streamed over the fallen fence, climbed onto the freeway and sat down, shutting down traffic. About 150 protesters gathered on the road and chanted "No justice, no peace. No racist police!"

Two more protests are planned for Tuesday, according to reports. One features students and faculty from the Claremont Colleges, according to the Daily Breeze, and will start at 10 a.m. Another has been arranged by the Youth Justice Coalition to start at the intersection of Crenshaw and King Boulevards at 3 p.m.      

A press conference with LAPD chief Charlie Beck and LA city council member Herb Wesson is expected at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

KPCC staff