Several thousand happy Los Angeles Lakers fans streamed into downtown Los Angles outside Staples Center Sunday night to celebrate the team’s 17th NBA championship, according to Los Angeles police and media reports from the scene.
The scene outside Staples Center, which was being monitored by Los Angeles police in riot gear, was initially raucous but peaceful for the first half hour or so.
Video posted on Twitter shows Los Angeles police officers firing non-lethal projectiles at Lakers fans celebrating the team’s championship win at the Staples Center, and people in the crowd trying to damage police vehicles by kicking and throwing objects at them.
Before the scene began to turn ugly, people were seen dancing on Chick Hearn Court and Figueroa Street and setting off firecrackers. Cars were also seen doing donuts on the streets.
A photo posted on Twitter shows several “celebrating” Lakers fans standing atop an orange MTA bus spray-painted with graffiti.
As of 8:30 p.m., it appeared the scene had grown more peaceful, according to media reports from the scene.
There were no initial reports of arrests, LAPD Office Norma Vargas told City News Service.
At the request of the LAPD, the California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert and blocked the northbound Pico Boulevard and Ninth Street off-ramps from the 110 Freeway, as well as the Pico Boulevard off-ramp from the eastbound 10 Freeway.
As of 9:45 p.m., police began aggressively acting to disperse the crowd from around Staples Center.
LAPD is in citywide tactical alert as a result of crowds celebrating the Lakers championship in downtown Los Angeles, says Officer Mike Lopez in LAPD Media Relations.
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