Police said today that 40 people were arrested in Koreatown during another round of violent, dueling demonstrations regarding transgender rights.
The protests began at about 11 a.m. Saturday near Wilshire and Rampart boulevards in front of Wi Spa, according to Detective Megan Aguilar of the Los Angeles Police Department. Demonstrators began throwing smoke bombs and projectiles at LAPD officers, she said. A dispersal order was issued around noon, and an unlawful assembly was declared. Demonstrators were given time to leave the area but several dozen refused to go.
Thirty-nine people were arrested on suspicion of failure to disburse and another person was arrested on suspicion of bringing a prohibitive item to a protest, the LAPD's Media Relations Section reported Sunday. Footage posted on social media showed police in riot gear shooting bean bag rounds at some protesters, and hitting others with batons when they refused orders to move back.
Two weeks ago, violent clashes between demonstrators and counter- demonstrators took place outside Wi Spa after a viral video from a woman who complained about a person with male genitalia, who identified as female, being nude in the women's section of the spa. At least five people were injured that day. It was not immediately clear if trans rights supporters with the group SoCal Antifa -- which was involved in several violent incidents at the July 3 demonstration -- were among Saturday's attendees.