LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles police detained protesters and members of the news media in a second night of confrontation over removal of a large homeless encampment that overtook a city park.
A Los Angeles Police Department statement said an unlawful assembly was declared Thursday night near Echo Park Lake when “several instigators” disrupted peaceful activity by using strobe lights against the officers.
The incident followed the city’s move Wednesday night to fence off the park for repairs while trying to move homeless people to alternative housing, largely hotel rooms under a program called Roomkey. That move led to a confrontation with demonstrators who oppose closing the camp.
The Los Angeles Times said one of its reporters was briefly detained Thursday night but was released without being arrested after inquiries by the newspaper’s editors and attorney.
Times Managing Editor Kimi Yoshino said the news organization was outraged that the reporter was detained while doing his job.
The LAPD said the declaration of unlawful assembly was announced at least five times and members of the media were asked to remove themselves from the crowd.
When reporters were detained along with protesters, representatives of the police media relations team were brought in to identify them and they were released without being arrested, police said.