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2 officers hurt in Los Angeles Lakers victory clashes; downtown property damaged [Updated]

Los Angeles city officials and downtown L.A. merchants were assessing the damage Friday morning after unruly fans celebrating the Lakers victory in the NBA Finals rampaged through the streets around Staples Center.

The Los Angeles Police Department deployed a huge force of officers hoping to prevent the looting and violence that occurred after last year's Lakers championship win. But although the situation in and around Staples Center was calm, there were scattered problems elsewhere downtown.

Crowds broke windows of storefronts, jumped on cars, set at least 15 small fires and threw objects at police.

The LAPD reported 38 arrests. There were also several injuries, but the exact number was not clear.

An LAPD officer was hit in the head by an object apparently thrown at him and suffered a broken nose.

A Los Angeles sheriff's deputy was hit in the head with a rock at a light rail station platform, said Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker.

At 7th and Flower streets, a crowd of more than 500 people surrounded a Metro bus and numerous people attempted to pull the bus driver out through the driver's side window, Parker said. Deputies deployed tear gas and sting balls, causing the crowd to disperse. They rescued the bus driver and the occupants of the bus.

A taxi driver was attacked, and his taxi was set on fire, Parker said. While rescuing him, rocks and bottles were thrown at deputies, who used sting balls and stun bags to break up the crowd, he said. They rescued the driver and, with the help of LAPD officers, took him out of the area.

Police fired non-lethal rounds to disperse a crowd at Figueroa Street and Venice Boulevard after several small fires were set. Fires were also set at 11th and Hope streets, and at 7th and Flower streets, a taxicab was engulfed in flames.

At least one person was beaten as fights broke out on Flower Street near Olympic Boulevard, officials said. A bicyclist was injured when struck by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department vehicle near 11th and Flower streets, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

At La Bella Cucina, in the 900 block of Figueroa Street, customers began throwing bottles, knocking over tables and stealing bottles of liquor, said restaurant manager Christian LaBella.

"I think it's pretty sad, especially when customers turn on you so quickly," LaBella said late Thursday. "They lost respect for themselves, they lost respect for the Lakers, and they lost respect for the restaurant. It's a shame for L.A."

"A lot of stupid, stupid people out here tonight," added Edward Lizama, 42, who lives in an apartment near 9th and Olive streets. "This isn't people having fun. It's ridiculous."

The violence broke out shortly after the game ended. The LAPD declared an unlawful assembly as people gathered along Figueroa Street near Olympic Boulevard. Hundreds of officers in patrol cars, on foot and on horseback moved in to clear streets and break up the crowds.

At 8th and Figueroa streets, fans and a phalanx of more than two dozen police wearing riot gear and wielding batons faced off. The standoff began when a bunch of fans tore down a traffic sign and then ripped out two newspaper stands and lighted the papers on fire. When the police marched up Figueroa, about two dozen abreast, the crowd slowly receded. Some people were throwing containers of energy drinks, which had been passed out for free after the win.

The YWCA at 11th and Olive was vandalized as taggers marked graffiti up and down the side of a wall. Another person upended a traffic sign and bashed in several windows. [For the record at 9:30 a.m.: A previous version of this post stated that a YMCA was vandalized. It was a YWCA.]

An LAPD cruiser pulled up and shined a light on the men. "Let's go. Night's over," an officer said through a loudspeaker.

-- Sam Allen, Tony Barboza, Hector Becerra, Andrew Blankstein, Paloma Esquivel, Robert Faturechi, Kate Linthicum, Robert J. Lopez, Joel Rubin, Abby Sewell and Ruben Vives

Photo credits: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times; Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Hi-res photos:
A hard-fought series

Photos: Lakers vs. Celtics,
Game 7

Photos: Lakers fans at
Game 7 of the NBA Finals

Comments () | Archives (146)

For those that get insulted for waiving the Mexican flag in East LA after the Laker Game....FYI Mexico had won earlier..so obviously they are both soccer fans and Laker fans...Think outside the Box! I was raised in East LA and glad that people were able to have a good time ...then go home with out acting like fools. I Love L.A./ Lakers and USA....I'm Mexican-American...but you won't see me waiving the Mexican Flag... I was'nt able to join the US military due to some mistakes i made, but i sure would not go join the Mexican Army!! USA Love it or Leave it!

I don't care much about sports, but next year I'll route for the opposing team to win just to avoid this ridiculous, senseless violence.

But wait! Maybe they did it because of poverty. That's right. How could I be so insensitive? Poverty & racism cause people to act like maniacs when their favorite team wins. And, of course, we, as caring Americans, have to respect cultural differences and allow these individuals to express themselves according to their own values and beliefs, which may be different, but are not better or worse than ours.

YEAH, I know a lot of people in downtown and east LA got out of hand but u can't judge Mexicans by the actions of a few, and FYI for- "new reform"- they were waving Mexican flags because Mexico won earlier that day and most people wanted to see if the Lakers were going to pull it off,which they did so many people went to the streets celebrating both victories! You cant judge us just because we got out of hand. Most Mexicans like me celebrated peacefully but just really excited for the two victories.

The people who continue to comment that sports riots are an Only in LA thing continue to show their ignorance. Seriously, were you people just not paying attention to what happened in Montreal a few weeks ago. ... Last night, there was a mini-riot in New York City because a concert was cancelled. No riots in Cleveland or Milwaukee? Maybe, but they can sure riot in Denver, Chicago and Detroit.

Courtney, you sound like maybe you live in an all-white compound in rural Idaho. I'm surprised they have Internet service there.

i went to a predominantly white university in the northeast in a suburban-rural setting in the middle of cornfields. when the college basketball team lost in the ncaa semi-finals, riots erupted all over town: couches burning in the street, cars being tipped over, local business windows being smashed...and all mostly by middle class and affluent, college "educated", white kids. stop blaming segments of our population. our entire nation has a problem.

Police used tear gas, sting balls and stun bags to disperse the idiots. What should have been used was 9 mm pistols. Kill these thugs and thug wannabes and be done with it. Way too lenient for this type of behavior.

The reason for the Mexican flags was that Mexico won over France in soccer yesterday, not because the Lakers won.

If Boston would've won, there would've been rioting in Boston as well... so please let us not bring the immigration debate into this.

Every race has their share of idiots!

NoReform wrote:
"Celebrate the LA LAKERS by waving Mexican flags"

Uh, actually, earlier in the day, the Mexican national soccer team beat France for the first time ever in the World Cup. Maybe that's what some of those fans were celebrating?

why do you think these people are illegal? most illegal immigrants don't even support the Lakers or any of the American teams. Please don't be so naive by saying these people are illegal because they are hispanic. I certainly annoyed by this rioting, and as an undocumented immigrant, I believe an illegal person would be out there risking being deported. It hurts because we are always being put down by non immigrants while trying to better ourselves and this country.

I wish it could have been better then last year after a drag out win like that. Much respect for the Lakers organization, just wish the loyal fans could have matched it to complete it. SO SAD!! LAKERS OR NOTHING! !

@ Adam, another ignorant post. Whites, blacks, hispanics. That's what I saw in the streets. Don't go looking for a scapegoat in illegals. I'm 100% sure there were some involved but so were so many other people and to single out a group like that just shows how ignorant you are. Many of these people were hoodlums, probably not Laker fans, who saw the opportunity to create mayhem under the pretex that the Lakers one.


I'm not sure who frightens me more--the lawless drunks, looters, and rioters last night, or the fascist bigots commenting on the lawless drunks and looters in this forum.

Anyone see the movie "Idiocracy"? It's not a movie anymore.

Sports riots are idiotic. Why inject race? They have football riots in England. They had Chariot Racing Riots in the Byzantine Empire. Stop blaming Latinos for all that ails our society.

Now lets all give the criminals a parade so they can do even more damage.

what a toilet.

Really sad!! Attempting to cause physical harm to a bus driver / cab driver,breaking windows, and starting fires .... is celebrating?? This is horrible! The issue with immigration has nothing to do with this. Don't get me wrong it must be dealt with ASAP and causes a lot of problems however, I saw all races participating in this "riot". Although illegal immigration is a huge problem we cannot blame that on everything negative that happens.. there were a lot of Idiots from our country who acted this way last night. Just sad!!! God bless

It's definitely not about immigrants or Mexicans. We have lots of both in Chicago, second only to L.A. probably. It's more about how the city works.

Chicago has had rioting in the past, especially during Bulls championships. But this happens in poor neighborhoods usually an spills over. Folks in poor neighborhoods, and they are human beings you know, they're frustrated and angry. Sports championships just give them the opportunity to blow off some steam. It's sad and angering, but it's a symptom of poverty and ignorance, not race or nationality.

And then you criticize why the police does things a certain way.


Fans? Why do you call them fans? Rioters, hooligans, criminals. Wearing a team jersey while you commit crimes doesn't make you a "fan".


To All Angelinos,
Once again your true character has been portrayed. And, in a valiant effort to be kind to each other, you looked the other way again. When will you all stand up and become a great state again? When will you stop condoning the violence and destruction from your citizens?
Why would anyone else want to move their families or businesses there when they see what happens even when your fellow Angelinos are happy?
I believe that anyone or business that suffered losses should sue the Lakers and city for failing causing/allowing this to take place.
BTW, this isn’t about Hispanics, this is about poor excuses of humans. There are Hispanics all over this world that don’t act like your city.

@ yikes this is not china or another communist country this is america we have standards we dont shoot people down for that we only shoot when lives are in danger


LA just knows how to party in innovative ways.

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