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17 Arrested Following ArtWalk Clashes

ArtWalk is supposed to showcase the best artists in Los Angeles, but last night protesters clashed with police. The usually peaceful monthly event turned violent because police tried to limit free speech.

At least 17 people were arrested Thursday night when violence broke out at the monthly ArtWalk event in downtown Los Angeles.

English: Los Angeles County Museum of Art

English: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of the total arrests, nine were for vandalism, two for failure to disperse, two for assault with a deadly weapon, two for resisting arrest, one for receiving stolen property and one for assaulting a police officer.

About 140 officers were called in to assist the LAPD Central Division with dispersing the crowds. Four officers were hurt and treated for minor injuries. One officer suffered a minor concussion after being hit in the head by an object thrown by the crowd.

The clash appeared to have started shortly before 10 p.m. from a demonstration using sidewalk chalk drawing as its means of expression, witnesses said.

Shaimaa Abdelhamid, 22, who identified herself as a member of Occupy L.A. — a protest movement that started in New York over wealth disparity — said protesters attended ArtWalk to show support for people previously arrested for drawing on the sidewalk with chalk. Multiple people previously had been arrested for chalking in protest.

Police arrived at the intersection shortly before 10 p.m. to disperse crowds that had gathered on Spring Street between 4th and 5th streets. Officers in riot gear systematically moved the crowd away block by block and had been authorized to use less-lethal munitions, such as rubber bullets, bean bags and baton strikes.

In response, the crowd threw bottles and cans at officers, screamed obscenities and chanted, “Whose streets? Our streets!”

If you or someone you love were the victim of police brutality, it is important that you contact a committed and dedicated personal injury lawyer to help you decide if you should file a lawsuit. A competent and reputable injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.