LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Protesters shut down the 101 Freeway Tuesday night as demonstrations against the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case continued throughout Los Angeles and across the U.S.
California Highway Patrol and LAPD officers boxed in demonstrators on the Grand Avenue overpass after dozens spilled across lanes in both directions and set up barricades to block traffic just after 9 p.m.READ MORE: Grieving Family Looking For Killer Of 22-Year-Old Alejandro Legaria Rangel In Huntington Park
Officers allowed the crowd to disperse north approximately 30 minutes later. KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper reports two people were arrested. The 101 was re-opened within the hour.
Protests then continued along Grand at Temple Street and Cesar E Chavez Avenue, where dozens were sitting in the intersection and attempting to set up barricades to block traffic before they were again made to disperse and later prevented from gaining access to the 110 Freeway. Southbound lanes were preemptively shut down by police shortly after 11 p.m.
Marches began in downtown Los Angeles and South L.A. around 3 p.m. Tuesday and continued late into the evening, with crowds growing as groups made their way to LAPD headquarters at 1st and Main streets in downtown L.A.
The demonstrations follow a day after a St. Louis County prosecutor announced jurors had decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal August 9 shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed, 18-year-old man.
In South L.A., a group of about 100 people began peacefully demonstrating at Martin Luther King, Jr. and Crenshaw boulevards, laying down in the roadway for 10 minutes after speaking with police about their plans before moving forward. The crowd had grown to about 300 people by 6 p.m., blocking traffic on surface streets and holding sit-ins at major intersections, voicing frustration with a justice system they believe still holds racial bias after it was that announced Wilson, who is white, would not face trial for killing Brown, a young black male.
LAPD officers were in close proximity, and had earlier blocked some demonstrators from getting on the 110 Freeway, a stretch of which was briefly shut down Monday night after protesters blocked traffic near the L.A. Convention Center.
At one point, dozens of protesters could be seen surrounding a CHP cruiser as they moved through Exposition Park. Officers managed to diffuse the situation safely.
After an hours-long march, masses gathered at LAPD headquarters, yelling chants like, “Hands up, don’t shoot!”
The intersection was blocked at 1st and Main, where police stood in riot gear. Some protestors threw trash at officers, and were asked by others in the group to maintain peaceful demonstration.
One officer was taken to the hospital after a bottle thrown at his head. Police said he suffered non-life-threatening injuries and that the suspect got away after running into the crowd.
A brawl also broke out on Main Street after a tagger spray painted “Mike Brown” on a set of glass doors.
A security guard told CBS2/KCAL9 off-camera he tried to detain the suspect but had to let go when other protesters became involved.
Still, police said protesters were mostly peaceful.
Tuesday marked the second night hundreds gathered at LAPD headquarters after the decision not to indict Wilson was announced. Two were arrested there Monday. There were no reports of any property damage.Man Shot And Stabbed Outside Crowded Glendale Pastry Shop, Suspect On The Loose
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck said there were three total arrests Monday, for assaulting an officer, failure to disperse and public drunkenness.
Still, he said it was a far different scenario than when rioters hit the streets in 1992 after the Rodney King verdict.
Beck admitted he thought about that night while watching Ferguson burn on television as protesters there vocalized their frustration over the decision.
“I was extremely worried that people would lose their lives like they did in 1992 in Los Angeles. When you see folks looting and fires, police cars being vandalized it does remind me of 1992. But it also reminds me of how far we’ve come,” Beck said.
“And I’m not claiming to be a perfect leader, I’m not claiming to have a perfect police department. But I will tell you this, we are in search of those things.”
Beck insisted at the time there would be arrests if more attempts were made to shut down the city’s freeways.
In addition to the 110 shutdown around 11:30 p.m., Monday night saw a small group of people march on the eastbound 10 Freeway in the West Adams district just before 8 p.m.
“We will make arrests if people go up on the freeway,” Beck said.
While he addressed the media, a group of ministers gathered earlier Tuesday in the West Adams district, reflecting on the verdict and the reaction in Los Angeles.
Kerry Allison described his emotions when his college-aged son called him Monday night and asked, “What do we do now, dad?”
“I feel like we haven’t served them. We haven’t made it better for them. But I know if we continue to stand that God is with us. One day we will overcome… thank you,” he said.
Students also held protests on UCLA and Claremont college campuses.
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