LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The union representing Los Angeles police is blasting City Councilman Mike Bonin after protesters vandalized the Van Nuys Community Station and burned the station’s flag.
A public plea for help from the LAPD reported about 50 protesters chanting anti-police slogans in masks and dark clothes surrounding the station at Tyrone Avenue and Delano Street around 11 p.m. Friday.
“Last night’s defund the police riot at the Van Nuys police station is a pathetic reflection of those who continue to promote hate, violence and destruction to justify their dangerous anarchist agenda that calls for the abolishment of police officers in the city of Los Angeles,” the union said in their statement. “If Angelenos want to see more of this mayhem, more of our city overtaken by criminals hell-bent on destroying our city, then keep electing politicians like Councilmember Mike Bonin and his ilk who invite and celebrate this craven criminal behavior.”
Several people with the group removed the American flag from the pole in front of the station and set it on fire, while others spray-painted anti-police slogans on the walls of the station in several areas, officials said.
Several other people walked out of the group that had gathered in the station’s courtyard and surrounded a marked patrol car with two uniformed LAPD officers inside, then began hitting the vehicle with an “unknown hard object” and blocked it from driving away, according to the LAPD.
A statement from the Los Angeles Police Protective League called the incident a “riot.”
The officers were eventually able to reverse out of the area and check their vehicle, which had been damaged.
The group left the area on foot and were last seen going into the surrounding neighborhood, near Hazeltine Avenue and Oxnard Street at about 1 a.m.
Anyone with information about the vandalism can contact the Van Nuys Area Watch Commander at (818) 374-9500.
Bonin has been outspoken in his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, cosponsoring forums with BLM LA and People’s Budget LA where representatives got a chance to explain their ideas for reimagining public safety. He has also tweeted about protests at his home that denounced BLM and the housing crisis, but said he has not asked for police involvement except for how to dispose of syringes left on his front stoop by a protester.
Bonin’s office released a statement that pushed back on the union’s “ludicrous accusations.”
“It is shocking that the police union is suggesting that a $2.7 billion budget is not enough for LAPD to prevent a police station from getting tagged,” the statement said. “They can try to bully me by shooting ludicrous accusations in my direction all day long, but I am not going to support slashing virtually every other city service to pay for police raises.”