Police fire at least 2 volleys of non-lethal projectiles during protest over police shooting [Updated]
Los Angeles police Tuesday night fired at least two volleys of nonlethal projectiles at crowds near 6th Street and Union Avenue in Westlake as people protested the fatal shooting of a man who officers said was threatening them and passersby with a switch-blade Sunday afternoon.
Police used bullhorns to declare an unlawful assembly around 9:30 p.m., and some in the crowd hurled rocks and bottles in the direction of officers.
The demonstrators, including families with children, bolted down the street and into alleyways as the nonlethal shots were fired. During the ruckus, witnesses said, a man fell off his bicycle and struck his head.
The 20-year-old, Jesus Alejandro Hernandez Carmona, was lying on the ground and bleeding profusely from the left side of his head. He was near a candle-lighted memorial to Manuel Jamines, the 37-year-old Guatemalan day laborer who was killed by police Sunday.
[Updated at 10:30 p.m.: An earlier version of this post omitted Jamines' first name.]
Carmona was surrounded by a crowd, which was bookended by police lined up along 6th and Union on the east and Burlington Avenue on the west.
Los Angeles Fire Department ambulances were at the scene but were not crossing the police line. When asked by a reporter why the man was not receiving medical attention, a police commander said, “Tough.”
[Updated 10:45 p.m.: Carmona was treated after friends helped him walk past the police line to ambulances.]
Several people, meanwhile, were shouting angrily into loudspeakers and a group of young men are weaving through the crowd on bicycles. A vendor hawked bags of potato chips.
Vitalina Rubio, 52, had looked on with disappointment earlier as protesters hurled eggs at police cars.
“You can't fight violence with violence,” said Rubio, a Mexican immigrant who has lived in the MacArthur Park area for nine years.
Earlier in the evening, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck defended the officers' actions during Sunday's incident, saying they made the best decision possible after Jamines repeatedly refused commands to drop the 6-inch knife.
-- Kate Linthicum in Westlake
Photo: Jesus Alejandro Hernandez Carmona, 20, lays on ground after falling from a bike. Credit: Jay Clendenin / Los Angeles Times