White supremacist rally at L.A. City Hall prompts large LAPD response
The LAPD is planning a large deployment of officers for a planned white supremacist rally at Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday, which will be met by more than a hundred counter-protesters.
The National Socialist Movement obtained a 1:30 p.m. permit for up to 150 of its supporters to attend a so-called “Reclaim the Southwest” rally. The movement has been advertising the event for weeks on the Web.
The LAPD is bringing in specially trained crowd control officers and plans to create a buffer if necessary to prevent any violence between the groups.
"We are going to allow both groups to exercise their 1st Amendment rights,” Los Angeles Police Cmdr. Blake Chow.
The LAPD is preparing for arrests and has already set up a jail operation procedure to arrest anyone breaking the law.
“Anyone stepping out of line will be arrested. We will have a very heavy deployment of officers,” Chow said.
Counter-protest organizer Fred “Scorpio” Smith of Watts said he anticipated a turnout of at least a hundred demonstrating against the white supremacists, whose rallies a have spurred opposition in Riverside and San Diego.
“We’re staying until they leave,” he said. Smith called the group’s presence outside of City Hall an insult to the city’s minorities.
-- Richard Winton