LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Police arrested three protesters after an unlawful assembly was declared in the Pershing Square area, where the Refuse Fascism organization held a protest to oppose what they believe is President Donald Trump's attempt to steal the election.
Refuse Fascism held protests in cities across the U.S. Wednesday afternoon, and the one at Pershing Square started about 3:30 p.m.
“(Trump) claims victory demanding that the counting be stopped immediately -- with millions of ballots yet to be counted, overwhelmingly from the urban cores where Black and Latino voters are concentrated,'' Refuse Fascism said in a news release Wednesday.
Police called the crowd “large and unruly,'' and by 7:30 p.m., an unlawful assembly was declared at Fifth and Hill streets, according to the LAPD.
Additional officers were called to the area after units reported being “surrounded'' by protesters, according to Officer Mike Lopez of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Police arrested three people Wednesday night, two for failure to disperse and one for assault on an officer.
A majority of the crowd left by 8 p.m., but a handful of protesters remained on Hill Street, between Fourth and Fifth streets. Officers cleared the scene by 9 p.m., Lopez said.
Protests against Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey also took place in downtown Wednesday afternoon. Dozens of people attended a “Jackie Lacey Will Go'' celebration organized by Black Lives Matter in front of the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles, where anti-Lacey protests have been held weekly.
Attendees proclaimed former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon as the winner in his bid to unseat Lacey. He held a 53.77%-46.23% lead over Lacey, according to results released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's office.
“We are definitely celebrating,'' a BLM organizer told the crowd at the start of the event. “We want to take this moment as we have come out here every Wednesday consistently, knowing that with consistency comes success, so we are about to truly celebrate a success that has been three-and-a-half years in the making.''
The rally was met with a large police and sheriff's department presence, with northbound traffic on Broadway and eastbound traffic on Temple Street blocked.
Speakers included Albert Corado, whose sister Melyda was killed by an LAPD officer responding to a shooting at the Silver Lake Trader Joe's, where she worked.
“...We know that no elected official is a savior, that no one is going to save us, George Gascon is not going to save us,'' he said.
“What he can do is what Jackie Lacey refused to do, and that's first of all meet with Black Lives Matter LA, bring them to the table, but also meet with the families of those who have been killed by law enforcement.''
Youth organizer Jamelah Lewis, whose uncle, Mickel Erich Lewis Sr., was killed by Kern County Sheriff's Office deputies on Oct. 2, also spoke to the crowd.
“I'm out here fighting for justice for him, and I'm really thankful to have a community and a support to stand alongside and to fight for justice. I'm so thankful that we actually did come out, and we voted, and we organized and we are standing in front of the Hall of Injustice, where Jackie Lacey is going to leave because she doesn't know how to do her job and if she doesn't know how to do her job then we're going to teach somebody how to,'' Lewis said.
The elder Lewis was driving with his girlfriend, Marlyn, and her two teenage daughters in Mojave when a deputy pulled him over for a vehicle code violation, authorities said.
When the deputy turned back to his patrol car, Lewis got out of his truck and started to run away, according to sheriff's officials. Lewis then ran back to his truck, reached inside and charged at the deputy, officials said.
The deputy fired, striking Lewis, who was pronounced dead at the scene. A firearm was recovered, officials said.
Lewis has convictions for resisting an officer, spousal battery and failure to register as a sex offender on a criminal record that spanned at least 22 cases in California, according to KGET-TV, the NBC affiliate in Bakersfield, citing court records.
Lewis was free on bail for at least three charges, including being a felon in possession of a gun and two counts of driving on a suspended license for DUI, according to court records cited by KGET.
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