Westwood Trayvon Protest Has LAPD Uneasy
File photo by L.A. Weekly
Demonstrators upset about the George Zimmerman verdict were planning to be in Westwood tonight, and not all of them were expected to behave.
LAPD has warned businesses in Westwood Village that mayhem is possible, and the department is beefing up its patrols with the help of the California Highway Patrol, L.A. County Sheriff's Department and UCLA police:
That's according to LAPD West Los Angeles Capt. Evangelyn Nathan, who expects the best but is preparing for the worst.
She says that chatter on Twitter indicates some flash mob–type, wilding-minded youths might target Westwood Village tonight in the way that Hollywood was hit Tuesday night.
"It's sounding more like wilding than a peaceful protest," she told us. It's possible "individuals basically want to stir up trouble instead of saying something about Trayvon."
So, police will have "high visibility" in the area, the captain says, with a special emphasis on Westwood, where business owners have been asked to make sure their security video cameras are rolling just in case.
Our position is for those folks who want to come out and peacefully express themselves -- absolutely. Those people who want to act a fool and jump on cars -- zero tolerance. We're not going to put up with that.
Westwood has been the site of unrest in the past, including during the 1992 L.A. riots. But it's been a while.
The official demonstration was set for 7 p.m. at Veteran Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. It's being called a "Smash White Supremacy Fun Run." Some on Twitter are saying the magic starts at 6:30 p.m. instead of 7.
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In any case, authorities will be watching with their fingers crossed.
[Update at 10:56 p.m.]: It appears from Twitter reports that hardly anyone showed up for the demonstration -- perhaps a dozen or so runners.
One or two people might have been arrested for allegedly failing to abide by cops' orders, but we couldn't confirm that with the LAPD at this hour.
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