Police declared an unlawful assembly after Black Lives Matter activists on Wednesday celebrated a potential defeat of the incumbent district attorney in downtown Los Angeles.

Jackie Lacey, the current Los Angeles County district attorney, faced challenger George Gascon on the ballot. Both are Democrats. The race is too close to call.

Black Lives Matter activists have protested Lacey for more than three years, holding weekly rallies at the downtown Hall of Justice.

The group says Lacey, a Black woman, has failed to prosecute police officers who fatally shoot people of color.

Wednesday’s rally was peaceful, with mostly masked participants listening to speakers who said the fight for racial equality continues. The mood of the crowd of several hundred people was jubilant.

Police blocked off the street for the rally and initially did not engage with the people gathered.

But around 7:30 p.m., the L.A. Police Department tweeted that it issued a dispersal order for the area of Fifth and Hill streets due to “a large and unruly crowd.”

The agency shared a video that showed a peaceful demonstration, with only about two dozen people visible in the area.

“At this time, anyone in the area is to leave immediately and follow all orders from any police officer,” the department wrote on Twitter. “This area is now closed.”

LAPD has prepared for election unrest that has largely failed to materialize, although more than 50 people were arrested for allegedly failing to disperse after officers declared another unlawful assembly downtown Tuesday night.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department did not have any reports of arrests across the county.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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