LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – At least five people have been arrested so far by a multiagency task force put together to identify those who took advantage of the peaceful George Floyd protests in late May and early June to commit “significant crimes” in the Los Angeles area.
In a news conference Monday, Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher said that the SAFE LA Task Force has so far identified 150 cases in which law enforcement officers and civilians had been assaulted during the looting and vandalism which took place across the Los Angeles area beginning in late May.READ MORE: 20-Year-Old Lizandro Diaz Salgado Charged With Rape, Kidnapping and Carjacking One Day After Release From Jail
One suspect was arrested on charges of attempted murder of a police officer. The suspect who was arrested fired a gun in two difference instances. A second suspect remains at large, wanted on similar charges.
“In four of those instances we have made an arrest and charges were filed against the individual, the other one is outstanding,” Pitcher said.
There were 139 assaults with a deadly weapon on police officers and civilians and 14 batteries on a police officer, Pitcher said.
There were also 10 “arson crimes of note,” including a fire which destroyed LAPD substation at The Grove mall, the MelroseMac store at 6640 Melrose Ave. and Mozza2Go at 6610 Melrose Ave., Pitcher said.
Seven police vehicles were also destroyed and there were 20 identified looting-related crimes at multiple businesses.READ MORE: Gas Prices On The Rise Across Southern California
“The FBI respects and supports those who are exercising their First Amendment rights, including the right to peacefully protest,” FBI Special Agent Voviette Morgan said. “Individuals should not have to have their constitutionally protects rights hijacked by individuals committing criminal activity.”
Beginning May 29 and lasting several days, hundreds of looters took advantage of the peaceful protests that were being held against police brutality to ransack and vandalize dozens of businesses across the region.
Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Long Beach were among the cities hit the hardest. Several stores were set ablaze or completely destroyed. Several thousand people were arrested during that week, although the majority of those were peaceful protesters who were arrested for breaking curfew.
The task force has established a website where the public can submit tips and see surveillance photos of the suspects. To leave a tip click here, or call 213-486-6840.MORE NEWS: Federal Officials Reporting Thousands Of 'Breakthrough' COVID-19 Cases Among People Who Are Fully Vaccinated
Along with the LAPD, the agencies which make up the task force include the FBI, the Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Torrance police departments, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.