Mostly Peaceful: Dozens Arrested After Lakers Championship Celebration Becomes Chaotic
Fans and rioters flooded downtown Los Angeles Sunday leaving a trail of property damage in the wake of the NBA Finals victory.
Crowds destroyed several local businesses near the Staples Center after the Lakers clinched the 2020 Championships, KABC reported. The windows of a Starbucks store were smashed, and a Metro bus was vandalized, as well. Only one person was arrested for vandalism and five for looting.
The L.A. Police Department declared the mob an unlawful assembly, and about 61 were arrested for failing to disperse after police ordered the assembly to break up.
WABC insisted that “Many who showed up were peaceful.” Still, many others dangerously performed burnout donuts in the streets with their cars, set off fireworks among the crowds, and began destroying storefronts.
The large crowds gathered despite warnings from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti that it is dangerous to gather in large crowds during a pandemic.
“As we cheer our @Lakers’ 17th championship, please remember it’s still not safe to gather in groups. Let’s honor our city’s triumph by protecting others and making sure we don’t spread the virus,” Garcetti tweeted on Sunday evening, adding, “Please celebrate safely at home. Do not gather at Staples Center.”
As we cheer our @Lakers’ 17th championship, please remember it's still not safe to gather in groups. Let’s honor our city's triumph by protecting others and making sure we don't spread the virus.
Please celebrate safely at home. Do not gather at Staples Center. Thank you!
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) October 12, 2020
Garcetti has not yet informed the city if there is going to be an official event to mark the Lakers win.
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