The Los Angeles Police Department along with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department have been sharply criticized for their decision to use UCLA's Jackie Robinson Stadium as a "field jail" for protesters who were arrested on Wednesday.
“We're troubled by accounts of Jackie Robinson stadium being used as a 'field jail,''' the university tweeted about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. “This was done without UCLA's knowledge or permission. As lessee of the stadium, we informed local agencies that UCLA will NOT grant permission should there be a request like this in the future.''
The LAPD was using the stadium to hold protesters who were arrested this week for curfew violations following protests of the killing of George Floyd by police in Minnesota.
According to a letter signed by nearly 60 members of the UCLA faculty, police put protesters who were arrested in downtown Los Angeles and Westwood on buses operated by the sheriff's department, and brought them to the stadium.
“All protocols of social distancing were violated by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and LAPD with protesters deliberately crowded into buses and officers not following rules and recommendations established by the City, the County, and the CDC, including wearing masks,'' the letter signed by 59 members of the UCLA faculty stated.
More protests to decry police brutality were scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. At noon, hundreds of people gathered at Santa Monica and La Cienaga boulevards fora rally organized by the LGBTQ community in support of Black Lives Matter. People were seen peacefully standing on sidewalks on all four corners of the intersection. The group is scheduled to march to Robertson Boulevard.
Another rally was held in La Verne where 300 people were joined by city officials and police.
Wednesday marks the fourth straight day the county has imposed a curfew, however, tonight's restrictions is scheduled to take effect at 9 p.m. and will expire at 5 a.m. Thursday morning. Previous curfews began at 6 p.m. and lasted through 6 a.m.
“When protesters were taken off the buses, they were subject to processing in the parking lot of the stadium and then released, which meant that they were directed to find their way home late at night (between 1:30 am and 3:30 am) from the Jackie Robinson Stadium. Without working cell phones and under conditions of curfew, this was a near impossible task...'' the faculty added in the letter.
During a meeting of the Police Commission on Tuesday morning, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said 2,700 people were arrested since protests over Floyd's killing began last week. The majority of infractions were for violating curfew, while around 10% were for looting, Moore said.
More than 60 LAPD vehicle had been damaged during the protests, including some that were burned.
During Tuesday night's protest, there were no major reports of violence or looting. Most protests located across Southern California, including those in downtown Los Angeles near City Hall, in Hollywood, and outside Mayor Eric Garcetti's official residence in Hancock park, were peaceful.
The LAPD was complimentary of protesters Tuesday, as the department tweeted, “This afternoon we saw the best of Los Angeles. Thousands of demonstrators marched in solidarity. We will continue to facilitate everyone's First Amendment right to assemble peacefully... we will continue to listen, learn, and grow.''
More protests against police brutality were reported just before midday in Beverly Hills on Santa Monica Drive, with other peaceful demonstrations held in cities like Manhattan Beach, Costa Mesa and Yorba Linda.
Los Angeles County imposed curfew for the third night in a row, with it beginning Tuesday at 6 p.m. and lasting through 6 a.m. Wednesday. Los Angeles and Long Beach also issued a similar curfew.
Other cities were stricter, with Santa Monica imposing a citywide curfew beginning at 2 p.m. Wednesday, and Beverly Hills instituting a curfew at 1 p.m. Culver City also imposed a curfew at 4 p.m.
All curfews were lifted by 6 a.m. Wednesday morning.
In an address to the city Tuesday night, Garcetti defended the curfews.
“I need to protect all Angelenos,'' he said. “I need to protect protesters. I need to protect our police officers. And we saw dangerous, dangerous situations that almost resulted in death, and I won't let that happen.''
Photo: Getty Images