Ferguson Decision Inspires Traffic-Blocking Protests in L.A. (PHOTOS)
UPDATE at 11:32 p.m., Nov. 24, 2014: Protesters blocked the 110 freeway near downtown. Find more details below.
A decision by a St. Louis County grand jury not to bring criminal charges against the white cop who shot an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo. in summer has sparked demonstrations from coast to coast.
In Los Angeles protesters blocked traffic in Leimert Park, Beverly Hills, Exposition Park, Mid-City and Westwood, keeping Los Angeles Police Department officers, who were on tactical alert, and other law-enforcement agencies busy throughout the evening.
However, attempts to get on freeways were thwarted [until they weren't; see more below]:
Not long after St. Louis County prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch announced that no indictment would result from the grand jury's investigation of Michael Brown's death, demonstrators hit the streets of Leimert Park.
They marched north to the 10 freeway and were preparing to block traffic when California Highway Patrol officers, apparently anticipating the move, blocked access and pushed them back.
Protesters made a run at the 10 freeway but CHP held them back pic.twitter.com/p6yG7fmAaS— Kevin Takumi (@KevinTakumi) November 25, 2014
The same later happened in Exposition Park when demonstrators apparently tried to block the 110 freeway near Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. but were thwarted.
However, protesters were successful at clogging L.A.'s notorious traffic at multiple points across the city and in Beverly Hills.
Demonstrators lay down in the intersection of La Brea and Venice Boulevard in Mid-City, in a Westwood Village street, and in front of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in the heart of Beverly Hills.
Earlier in the evening L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti had this to say:
Protestors now blocking Crenshaw and Stocker St pic.twitter.com/4DIm4eqzEr— Brittny Mejia (@brittny_mejia) November 25, 2014
Michael Brown's death has ignited deep passions across the nation, and Los Angeles is no exception. Tonight's decision is one that will be heatedly debated — but we should do so through dialogue and peaceful action. City departments are mobilized to assist in the exercise of peaceful protest.
The LAPD's tactical alert status allows commanders to keep all hands on-deck in times of emergency. A department spokeswoman said arrest figures, if any, wouldn't be announced until morning.
UPDATE at 11:32 p.m., Nov. 24, 2014: Shortly before 11:30 p.m. journalists at the scene started reporting that protesters had blocked the 110 freeway near downtown.
One journalist said protesters were laying down in lanes.
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