Dozens of people have been arrested, property vandalised and several civilians and police officers injured as chaos descended on Los Angeles, following the Lakers' NBA championship win.
Lakers fans took to the streets around Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles after the side dominated Game 6 to win their 17th NBA title on Sunday night.
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The Los Angeles Police Department arrested 76 people after a celebration of the Lakers’ championship turned into “confrontational, violent and destructive behaviour,” the department said.
The City's mayor Eric Garcetti repeatedly pleaded with fans not to turn out in the streets en masse due to COVID-19 safety regulations.
However, those pleas fell on deaf ears as common sense went out the window and fans turned out in worrying numbers.
LAPD: Buildings damaged, officers injured
The LAPD gave an update Monday morning on Twitter saying there were 76 total arrests for vandalism, assault on a police officer and failure to disperse.
Two members of the crowd were injured by “less lethal munitions fired by our officers” and were taken to the hospital, according to the LAPD.
Eight officers were injured and received medical treatment and more than 30 buildings and establishments were damaged by the crowd, according to the LAPD.
Last night’s largely peaceful celebration in Downtown LA of the Lakers championship turned into confrontational, violent & destructive behavior.— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) October 12, 2020
30+ buildings damaged
8 officers injured
2 injured by less lethal munitions fired by our officers pic.twitter.com/BZ2nYWHz3c
LAPD wrote in part:
“What started out as a largely peaceful celebration of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA championship in downtown Los Angeles, turned into confrontational, violent and destructive behavior late last night.
"A crowd of more than 1,000 revelers descended into the area around Staples Center after the game. Unruly individuals mixed within the crowd began throwing glass bottles, rocks and other projectiles at officers.
"That is when an unlawful assembly was declared, and only a limited number of people complied and began to disperse.
"A larger portion of the group broke off and began vandalizing businesses while continuing to engage in violent behavior, some aimed at responding officers.”
Unruly celebrations branded ‘irresponsible’
Social media was inundated with outrage over the worrying scenes in Los Angeles, with the coronavirus pandemic at the forefront of the anger.
There’s no end to the line of people celebrating outside STAPLES. 🎉 pic.twitter.com/RyTctMDydT— SLAM (@SLAMonline) October 12, 2020
Congrats to the Lakers and fans but Jesus this is so dumb. Another outbreak coming to LA. Not worth it. This damn pandemic isn’t gonna end— Payman Benz (@PaymanBenz) October 12, 2020
lakers fans are acting disgusting last night causing property damage...for what?— 새벽 (@miseusaebyuk) October 12, 2020
Soooo is Covid over or Nahh? pic.twitter.com/nxqLfjquIi— DaRealSassy1 (@savoy_shenessa) October 12, 2020
This is irresponsible! Regardless how anyone feels about the Lakers.— LR (@LR0692) October 12, 2020
COVIDiots— Fletch F. Fletch (@ZonaCatsfan12) October 12, 2020
Covid numbers boutta go up like crazy by the morning lol 😬— WEL (@Almighty_Wel) October 12, 2020
Man this so irresponsible.... I know people attach themselves to sports teams because sports stir emotion in us and it's nice to feel like a winner and all.... But the Lakers are a business. The nba is a business. They won't use their profit on you or your family's hospital bills— knowledge +empathy = progress (@KenshoKeith) October 12, 2020
Disgusting what they did near Staples Center. I wonder, will the @Lakers pay those businesses for the damage??????? Really crappy.— Kathy (@cal_gal53) October 12, 2020
Lakers fans took to the streets to celebrate their first title since 2010 and a record tying 17th to sit alongside the Boston Celtics.
Many honoured the late Kobe Bryant, who died along with his daughter and six other passengers in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles in January.
Videos went around social media of fans standing on construction platforms waving flags, many without masks.
There were fireworks and cars doing donuts in the middle of the celebration.
With Yahoo Sports US
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