Update: The Kings lost to the Devils 3-1 — making this a sad night for L.A., but a lucky break for the LAPD. Their only concern now is making sure ecstatic New Jersey fans can get out of the Staples area unscathed.
If the L.A. Kings win Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals this evening, it will be the first Los Angeles championship won at Staples Center since the NBA finals in summer 2010.
And we all know what happened after that series. Lakers fans went absolutely nuts outside Staples — throwing bottles at police, hopping on cars, smashing windows, etc. Whatever they didn't break, they set on fire. And no damned riot cop nor rubber bullet could stop them.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck warned Kings fans today that similar acts of mayhem will not be tolerated:
“I encourage everybody to celebrate the Kings victory tonight. Do it responsibly. Do it at home. Do it at an appropriate venue. You're not going to do it on the streets in front of Staples Center.”
He added that “hundreds” of cops will be waiting in the wings to descend upon anyone who gets out of hand.
Granted, the chief said that before the 2010 riot, too. But this time he's SERIOUS. And Twitter reports indicate a heavy L.A. County Sheriff's Department presence at Staples as well (they usually come around when the LAPD needs to tote detainees away en masse), along with other private security officers on alert in the L.A. Live area.
People at the scene say the LAPD turnout is especially thick along Figueroa, stretching all the way down to Adams.
On a lighter note, two very special cops have been assigned to Cup-transporting detail. According to a Twitter account that tracks the police scanner, “a 2 unit LAPD black and white escort was just requested to escort THE STANLEY CUP to Staples Center!!!”
OK, everyone calm down. Y'all don't want to get confused for rioters, now, do you?
Ima be at the staples center when the kings win! We gonna fuck that shit up!! Haha
— Jose Hernandez (@jo53supreme93) June 7, 2012
Both the Lakers riot and the Dodger Stadium assault have been in the headlines these last few weeks, in that the perps involved are being punished to the full extent of the law. If we didn't know better, we'd even say the LAPD timed the Lakers arson arrest as an ominous warning for potential Kings revelers.
At his press conference, Beck used it as a threat:
“I remember standing there and saying we were going to do everything we could to find the people who engaged in acts of arson and riot who acted in a criminally irresponsibly way. Well, we found one and I can guarantee you this: We're looking for others. So we're saying to those who would do that kind of thing, learn the lesson of the person who got arrested a few weeks ago. If you engage in violence tonight, the LAPD will find you and arrest you and you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
So maybe, like, none of this.
Follow @LAPDscanner for live updates on the Kings chaos downtown.