See our latest report, including arrest numbers: Trayvon Unrest Prompts Plea For Calm in L.A.
Bands of young people hit the streets for the third night in a row in Los Angeles in the name of "justice for Trayvon Martin," with a few committing vandalism and even apparently beating a victim next to an Arco gas station on Crenshaw Boulevard at Slauson Avenue.
LAPD Officer Cleon Joseph said he couldn't confirm reports of at least one arrest, but it was clear the department had its hands full on Crenshaw tonight:
A citywide tactical alert was in place, which allows the LAPD to deploy officers only to high-profile calls and keep them past their shifts.
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News coverage at KCAL 9 (watch live here) depicted bands of young people breaking off from marchers, beating a victim near that gas station, swarming cars and damaging them, and trying, at least, to get inside the Walmart at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza mall.
LAPD in a standoff with demonstrators outside of Wallmart. https://t.co/nCSq30AsPh
— Ruben Vives (@LATvives) July 16, 2013
Erik Scott of the L.A. Fire Department couldn't confirm a paramedic response to the Arco but he did say rescue crews were on "stand-by" because of the demonstrations.
[Added at 9:23 p.m.]: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck took to social media to plea for peace tonight:
Violence is never the answer. Urging all protestors around LA 2let peace prevail.This is OUR City and we need to work 2gether 2 preserve it
— Chief Charlie Beck (@LAPDChiefBeck) July 16, 2013
[Added at 9:34 p.m.]: That seems to contrast a little with what Lt. Andy Neiman told KCAL9 tonight, namely that some of the young men involved in the unrest need to be grabbed by the "short hairs." Not that a lot of Angelenos would disagree ...
[Added at 9:40 p.m.]: Scott of the fire department told us there were reports of rubbish fires in trashcans.
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[Added at 9:44 p.m.]: Neiman of the LAPD subsequently added this:
This would be a good time to send a text message to your kid to make sure they are not part of this. This mob mentality is really starting to take over ... Everybody has a cellphone. Send a text message to your kid if you think they might be out here.
That's what it's going to take, some parental intervention here so law enforcement doesn't have to do it.
[Added at 9:48 p.m.]: Neiman added, "We are getting reports that some people have been injured."