By KCAL KCBS STAFF
LOS ANGELES (KCAL) — Protesters descended on the mayoral residence Thursday night, leaving behind trash and graffiti, just hours after Mayor Eric Garcetti signed an ordinance restricting homeless encampments in Los Angeles.
A crowd of about 50 people began protesting at the residence at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the LAPD. The protest started peacefully, but ended with dozens of officers responding in riot gear dispersing the crowd.
“No one was in danger. Our role last night was to facilitate a peaceful protest and make sure that everyone’s First Amendment rights were protected,” LAPD Lt. Rex Ingram said. “Unfortunately around midnight, they were a little bit loud and boisterous, and were getting a little out of hand, and that’s why we decided to give them a dispersal order.”
However, when the officers arrived to disperse the crowd, they were no longer there, Ingram said.
No arrests were made, and no injuries were reported. However, some damage was left to the property, including vulgar graffiti on the outer pillars that were covered up with paper to be cleaned up later Friday morning. The property was also toilet-papered.
The LAPD said they were not aware of why the protesters were there, but some signs that were spotted during the protest said “5 Unhoused People A Day Die In Garcettis LA” and “Your Sweeps Are Violent! We Will Not Be Silent!”
The City of Los Angeles has been struggling with the homeless crisis and how to handle encampments that proliferated during the pandemic. Large homeless encampments have been cleared in Venice and at Echo Park – moves that were greeted by some protests that turned violent – and the city just passed an ordinance restricting where such encampments can be located.
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