37 Arrests for Civil Disobedience-Related Crimes – Sheriff Denounces Rioters, Anarchists in the Streets

37 Arrests for Civil Disobedience-Related Crimes – Sheriff Denounces Rioters, Anarchists in the Streets


WESTMONT – A news conference held by Sheriff Alex Villanueva on 09/10/2020 was presented to illuminate the violence, vandalism, and destruction over the past few days by self-proclaimed anarchists and rioters in the South L.A. area – the goal being to quell future mayhem. He denounced the “recent unlawfulness in the streets of the Westmont community, spurned in protest of a fatal deputy-involved shooting which occurred last month in the area,” said L.A. County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Deputy Lillian Peck.

The scene of the conference was the same destination where demonstrators had recently gathered numerous times to exercise their First Amendment rights – in front of South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station (which serves Athens, El Camino Village, Del Aire, unincorporated Gardena, Lennox, Lawndale, Moneta Gardens, and Wiseburn.)

Many of the communities’ locals had walked the streets during the planned peaceful protests to see who’d arrived to lend their support and “make a civic difference for a good cause,” said Dep. Peck.  Instead, out-of-towners seemed to dominate the scene as community members witnessed strangers add maelstrom to matter.

“Rebellious, self-proclaimed anarchists threw frozen water bottles, fireworks, smoke bombs, glass bottles, metal pipes, and chunks of cement to create chaos, damage and injury,” said Dep. Peck.  “They came armed and clad for battle in protective vests, helmets, shields, goggles, and heatproof gloves; they prevented commerce and travel by blocking the streets; and their loud and dangerous actions kept residents awake and shuttered in their homes for hours, on several nights.”

The numerous protests at the front of the station morphed into unlawful assemblies lasting into the wee hours of the morning. Nightly, 100+ people gathered, and went  “from peaceful to assaultive toward deputies protecting the building,” reported Dep. Peck. “Unruly participants vandalized the property, likely to cost thousands of dollars to repair.”

In an effort to find the source of this bedlam, concerned residents asked wreaking-havoc rioters where they resided. The answer:  from miles away –  Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Burbank, Hollywood, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ana, Sherman Oaks, Thousand Oaks, etc.

“On the fourth night in a row, the peace, flow and quality of life of the community was disturbed,” said Dep. Peck.  “Deputies quelled the situation and engaged the rabble-rousers and anarchists.  Over the course of the last several days, 37 people were arrested for civil disobedience-related crimes, including Failure to Disperse at the Scene of a Riot.”

Sheriff Villanueva expressed the importance of listening to those who reside and conduct business in the service areas, the voices overshadowed by shouting and misconduct from others coming into the area.  He wanted them to have a platform to convey their points of view and concerns about the current events.  “We’re going to encourage the first amendment right, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom to address government, by all means.  But it has to be in a manner that does not disrupt local law enforcement (and) does not disrupt our local community,” he said.

“A number of speakers at the press conference who live, grew up and conduct business in the area expressed the community’s collective displeasure and exhaustion with those foreign to the area coming in and trampling their city,” said Dep. Peck.  “The destruction of structure and flow by wholly unconnected and unconcerned parties became such a concern, residents wanted to publicly address those responsible or considering it, to dissuade them from further action and let them know they are unwelcome.”

The community’s position was delivered by Joe Collins, “We understand that black lives matter just as much as everyone else’s lives matter, but we’re not going to destroy our community to prove that.  And we will not allow anyone else to come into our communities and destroy it to prove that.”  Unlike some other national cities overrun for months with violence and lawlessness, wreaked under the cloak of cultural concern:  “South L.A. is not going to be anyone’s practice dummy.  We will not be Portland, Oregon; we will not be Washington State; we will not be Chicago; and we will not be New York.”

Collins addressed an attorney claiming to represent one of the arrested rioters, decrying usage of rubber bullets on protesters, and likely rounds launched from an ARWEN (Anti-Riot Weapon EnField) – a less-lethal tool specifically designed for riot control.  She was encouraged to come to the area at night and observe the type of protests occurring with fireworks, rocks, bottles, and fire being hurled.  He pointed out great danger with one of those objects making its way into a home or car and affecting an unwitting family or occupant.

“Do not come from out of town into our town causing ruckus, causing violence.  The community will push back and we’re going to support the Sheriff and their use of force to remove these people from our cities because they are a danger,” warned Mr. Collins, in reference to outsiders who bring calamity and lawlessness to their neighborhood.  “I support the law enforcement, we support the law enforcement.  And, how we say in our streets, ‘That’s what they get.’”

37 Arrests for Civil Disobedience-Related Crimes – Sheriff Denounces Rioters, Anarchists in the Streets was last modified: September 14th, 2020 by admin
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