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LAPD estimate crowd at immigrant rights rally is about half of what was expected [Updated]

May 1, 2010 | 12:19 pm


[Updated, 3 p.m.: Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck estimated that about 50,000 immigration rights activists participated in Saturday's May Day rally, about half of what police estimated earlier.

Police had anticipated a larger crowd because of the controversy surrounding the recent passage of a tough immigration law in Arizona that allows police to check the legal status of people they believe are in the state illegally.

“All this was an estimate," Beck said when asked about the department's earlier projection. "These are educated guesses. We were unable to tell what the event in Arizona would do, so we estimated 100,000 people.”]

Only one arrest has been reported for a minor vandalism incident.

“The event was peaceful," Beck said. "Everyone who came out here was peaceful,” Beck said.

“Everyone got to do what they came out here to do, which is express their issues.”

Beck attributed the peacefulness of Saturday’s march to months of coordination between police and the march organizers.

“We spent months with organizers making sure we were all on the same page,” Beck said.

-- Ruben Vives

Photo: Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony joins hands with others in leading the May Day rally in downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times