LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Police Department has been put on Blue Alert as a result of the violence in Baltimore and threats made against officers nationwide, authorities said Monday.
The Blue Alert, which requires all LAPD officers to ride in two-person teams while on patrol, is expected to remain in effect until at least midnight.READ MORE: LA Film Production Sees Boom In 2021
“We did get notification so, at that point, we do take those threats very seriously. We have been deploying two officers per patrol car,” an unidentified officer said.
The alert comes in response to rioting and looting that broke out in Baltimore just hours after the funeral for 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died after he was injured in police custody. Officers in that region have responded in force, carrying batons and utilizing tear gas.
“I’ve been here earlier today and we had a beautiful home-going service and to see that it turned into all this violence and destruction, I am really appalled,” said Richard Shipley, Gray’s stepfather, who condemned the violence.READ MORE: Health Officials Urge Residents To Exercise Caution Against COVID-19 While Watching Games
The violent clashes left 15 officers hurt, six of which were seriously injured. The clashes also prompted the governor of Maryland to activate the National Guard while Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake imposed a nighttime curfew all week-long.
“We are deploying every resource possible to gain control of the situation and to ensure peace moving forward,” Rawlings-Blake said.
The safety concerns also prompted baseball game between the White Sox and the Orioles in Baltimore to be postponed.
“We’ve worked too hard for too long to allow issues in other cities to erode the relationships that we’ve been able to build with our communities,” L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said at an afternoon joint news conference.
McDonnell called for continued peace amid the violence and riots in Baltimore.
“We respect the right of people to exercise their First Amendment rights peacefully but we can’t condone violence and lawlessness of any kind,” he said.MORE NEWS: Authorities Searching For Suspect In Line Of Cosmetic Store Thefts