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Lakers celebration turns ugly as police, motorists come under attack

The Los Angeles Lakers victory in the NBA championships ended on a sour note as Los Angeles Police Department officers clashed with rowdy fans.

The LAPD brought large numbers of officers into the Staples Center area hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's looting and violence. But fans went on a rampage in some parts of downtown L.A., throwing rocks, shattering windows, rocking cars and setting fire to at least one vehicle and several other objects.

At Figueroa Street and Venice Boulevard, police fired less-than-lethal rounds at fans after they overturned a city parking enforcement vehicle and set fire to orange fire cones. On the LAPD's tactical frequency, officers at the intersection were heard requesting permission to fire  projectiles at a group of men throwing chunks of concrete at them. The permission was granted.

Among other incidents:

--The YMCA at 11th and Olive was attacked by crowds who smashed windows and tagged walls with graffiti.

--Crowds rocked and jumped on cars around Figueroa Street and nearby roads.

--A KCAL-TV Channel 9 news van was attacked by a crowd, which smashed its windows.

--Groups were seen in several downtown locations knocking down news racks, throwing bottles at officers, setting off firecrackers and defacing signs.

The LAPD was making numerous arrests, but the exact number was not immediately available.

Police were able to clear the areas around Staples Center and the L.A. Live shopping complex. But the crowds moved into surrounding neighborhoods, causing problems. Some fans ran onto the freeway.

Police Chief Charlie Beck expressed general satisfaction with the way the massive police force was handling the challenge of dispersing 20,000 people and tamping down several violent groups.

"Obviously, some people didn't heed our admonishments to celebrate safely, but unlike last year this has never gotten out of control. This has been a controlled exercise in crowd control. Unfortunately, we've had to manage some people more than we would have wanted."

--Robert Faturechi, Kate Linthicum, Andrew Blankstein, Ruben Vives, Abby Sewell, Sam Allen, and Hector Becerra.

Comments () | Archives (253)

As a Massachusetts resident, I want to thank the Lakers for winning for 2 reasons.....

1. There weren't riots HERE, though the Boston PD was getting ready for them.

2. Now the Celtics will fade back into obscurity for another year and I won't have to listen to all the fair-weather fans chanting "*WE* won!!"

lol...I'm with you D.E. Carson. Why have any kind of professional sport in L.A.? The people going to the events only use it as an excuse to destroy their own city?!?!? It probably would have been worse if the Lakers lost. It's ridiculous...and it's why they can't have nice things lol.

bunch of low class animals.

This story grossly understates everything that happened downtown last night. I've read more comprehensive coverage of this story from news outlets in ENGLAND (!) than this story. The Times is trying to sweep this under the carpet while being all happy and shiny about the Lakers victory. The police deployment was very nice in the block surrounding the Staples Center/Nokia (the new shiny parts of downtown), but a few blocks away from the arena, people were getting beaten and cars were alight. Whatever geniuses at police HQ that designed this "protection" were only serving the interests of the rich.

I've lived in LA for 20 years, and last night was the first night I was actually afraid to go out. Shameful.

Wow...I hope the Lakers organization speaks out against this swiftly and with serious conviction. Who needs fans that celebrate by being destructive? This behavior is the antithesis of the victory. The path to victory takes dedication to excellence, perseverance, and conviction to the good of the team and results in pride and honor. What kind of person is it--and who raised them--whose reaction to excellence is to destroy, undermine, harm. This is disturbing beyond words and so far from the dignity and decorum that characterized our greatest generation that one must ponder the future and our fate. I am shocked and amazed at the lack of character that has become frighteningly close to the norm in our citizenry. This truly makes my stomach turn.

The Lakers did it again. HOORAY. But I am saddened for the unecessary disturbance and violence following the game. It would have been good if Laker players like Koby, Fisher, Gasol and Odom had made public announcements admonishing fans not to participate in disruptive activity. Laker stars as well as other NBA franchise stars should own up to a higher level of responsibility. Fans love, respect and admire their star heros and are more likely to respond positively to their request for self control throughout their celebration.

why so much trouble, the Lakers won, that should have been a good thing, why did it turn so violent after the game? why can't people enjoy the win and be happy, causing so much trouble was not worth the win....it is a time to be happy and enjoy our teams victory not war?????whats wrong with people?

Too bad the Celtics didnt win. These people don't deserve a championship team.

It is most unfortunate that all cities who are lucky enough to win an NBA championship have some measure of over-the-top celebration and violence.

After reading most of these comments, I now know they only thing less evolved than the rioters last night are the people that comment on here. Way to go!

Just another reason why I don't watch basketball. The 'sport' is based on a strategy that is inherently unsportsman like. Is there any other sport in which it is considered good strategy to purposely foul an opponent at the end of a half to prevent a legitimate score in the hopes that when offered free points, that your opponent will make a mistake instead? Perhaps soccer, another horrible excuse for a sport. So it should be no surprise that, just like in soccer, the fans foul eachother afterward, vandalize and trash their own city, and act like third world thugs without a shred of decency to their character. How much longer until the entire state quakes and falls into the ocean? It can't happen soon enough.

Great game. But those fans (gang members no doubt) who act like disruptive idiots should all be deported.

ANIMALS! Chicago wins the Stanley Cup... not one arrest or act of violence. Los Angeles wins the NBA Championship... cars set on fire, taxi's being overturned, buildings damaged, several arrests. LOS ANGELES should be caged off from the rest on the nations. It could be the world's largest zoo! People from all over would pay to see these animals in their natural habitat. L.A. does not deserve a professional sport's team! Los Angeles fans are crazy! I bet that most of them don't even watch basketball.

can we do a little bit of racial profiling on the rioters?
and if your race is named, will you get mad at those that state it?
or accept it and fix it ?

Classy stuff. Our team won. Let's go beat up people and break things!

I can see Lakers fans are just as obnoxious as the players themselves.

How about this ...

How about until people can demonstrate that they can be the mature adults they're expected to be who are totally capable of celebrating a victory in a fun but NON-destructive way, instead of the rowdy, immature, foaming-at-the-mouth rabid fans that they are, of what amounts to a stupid game - events such as these are put on an indefinite hold. No more basketball games. No more baseball games. No more football. No more soccer. Nothing. Why continue feeding/fueling the bad behavior? Especially at the cost of others (usually innocent) lives and livelihoods..

What the heck is the point of going through with playing a game, when we all know that the immature people watching it won't be able to contain themselves, win or loss? You know - the ones that think it's ok to vandalize, destroy, and maim just because their "favorite" team won a stupid game.

The destruction that ensues afterwards is so absolutely ridiculous. It's pathetic. It only goes to show that the people who watch the games and then proceed to cause chaos are incapable of acting like the adults they are supposed to be. I've worked with children, as young as 4 and 5 years old, who act more mature than these people did last night. These people are the true societal burdens.

Absolutely ridiculous. Absolutely disgusting.

When the Spurs won the championship both times; people flooded the streets of downtown SAN ANTONIO and partied and celebrated with NO incidents whatsoever. All races, all genders, all ages; even little children were downtown...whole families.

The police downtown were high-fiving people and celebrating too.

Everytime one of these things goes down it makes me even more PROUD of the PEOPLE in the city I get to call home.

We are soft on crime, soft on criminals. Big punishment = less crime.

Diz be Bball, If youz caint handle it den uze caint hang wit the big dawgs

Stupid people... maybe the eugenicists are right, that 80+% need to "disappear".

What do you expect when Cali lets these third world scumbags come across the border untouched.......DEAL WITH IT YOU LIBERAL LOSERS

Follow the example of the Korean businessmen during the "Rodney King riots", and the fervor of the Vandals will be quickly diminished.

Congratulations to the Lakers on their victory. Now it's time for the team's owners to shell out some cash to the city of Los Angeles for the disruption and destruction that their presence has caused.

Posted by: Larry White | June 17, 2010 at 11:53 PM

Why should the owners be responsible for someones stupidity? Why not make the idiots who riot and act this way be held accountable for their actions... There is a better solution find one of the guys that was arrested for the looting and vandalism and hold him accountable for over 20k in damages, then broadcast it all over the local channels in English, Spanish, Viet, Korean etc. guaranteed that will hinder some idiots as most probably couldn't afford that. Maybe if the police were able to get rid of the scum and criminals in that area more affluent people would want to come there then avoid it like a bad habit and that would happen less.

Why are Obama voters and democrats so violent?

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