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Calm marks fourth night of protests over LAPD shooting

September 9, 2010 | 11:50 pm

Dozens of people marched in the Westlake district Thursday during a fourth night of protests over the death of a Guatemalan immigrant who was shot to death after LAPD officers said he threatened them with a knife.

But unlike on previous nights, there were no clashes between the protesters and police.

Organizers asked the protesters to remain calm and keep to the sidewalk as they marched to beating drums along 6th Street, where Manuel Jamines was shot Sunday afternoon near Union Avenue. When they reached the Rampart Division station, some in the crowd yelled, “Assassins!”

“This is a peaceful march,” said John Lopez, a 40-year-old plumber who came from Monterey Park to support calls that the responsible officer be brought to justice. “That’s why you see women and children here.... We don’t want a rally that is going to get out of control.”

Like many in the crowd, he questioned why police had used lethal force against a man carrying a knife.

“I know the guy was a threat to the public. He was intoxicated. That’s why the cops were dispatched, but not to kill him,” he said.

Police said Jamines, who worked as a day laborer, threatened passersby and three police officers with a knife and refused repeated commands in Spanish and English to drop the weapon. He died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head, according to the coroner.

On Thursday, police maintained a heavy presence in the heavily immigrant neighborhood, which had been the scene of three nights of violent clashes. Officers cruised by in squad cars as residents lighted candles at a makeshift memorial decorated with flags, flowers and a hand-written sign reading “Stop Police Brutality.” Others were positioned on rooftops and outside the police station.

Organizers of Thursday’s protest said a larger march is planned Saturday at 10 a.m.

-- Alexandra Zavis

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