A march for racial justice escalated into clashes between protesters and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies in West Hollywood Friday night.

Social media videos shows a scuffle between deputies and at least one person. A deputy is seen repeatedly striking the person down on the ground with the edge of what appeared to be a riot shield.

Sheriff’s Department officials said they’re aware of the videos going around on social media and are investigating them.

Led by three vehicles, a group of about 75 gathered in Hollywood around 6 p.m. Friday and marched toward The Grove, heading down Santa Monica Boulevard, chanting and carrying signs that read “No justice = No peace,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “Black Women Deserve Better.”

The crowd swelled to more than 100 people before the protesters descended onto West Hollywood, where they were met with deputies in riot gear who were blocking the demonstrators’ path around 9:45 p.m.

Deputies declared an unlawful assembly and issued dispersal orders after “several acts of vandalism took place,” the department said in a statement. Officials didn’t provide information on what was vandalized.

“After the order was given, two pickup trucks were seen driving recklessly on Sunset Boulevard with multiple subjects hanging out of the truck beds. Both vehicles then blocked traffic taking over the street on Sunset Boulevard, near San Vicente Boulevard,” the Sheriff’s Department said.

Deputies detained about ten people, six of whom were ultimately arrested.

Officials said those arrested were suspected of acts including reckless driving, unsecured passengers in a truck bed, taking over the streets, battery on a peace officer, resisting or obstructing deputies and failure to disperse

Multiple demonstrators were seen being tackled as deputies set off some sort of smoke- or gas-emitting device.

At that point, most of the crowd that had been marching had dispersed.


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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