By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Black Lives Matter protesters interrupted a news conference while Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva was speaking, prompting a large response from more deputies.

(credit: CBS)

Villanueva, and several other city officials, were scheduled speak Tuesday morning in support of crime victims in front of the Hall of Justice on Temple Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

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But when protesters showed up, the group was declared an unlawful assembly and deputies in tactical helmets and carrying crowd control shields were called out to push them off Hall of Justice property. They stood at the top of the Hall of Justice’s steps to keep protesters on Temple Street and away from the news conference.

Protesters called for the ouster of Villanueva, who said during the conference that BLM doesn’t seem to be protesting violent crime increases, and that they must be “smoking something” if they believe defunding law enforcement will make crime go away.

Leaders of BLM, however, say they are protesting Villanueva’s exploitation of crime victims.

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No injuries or arrests have been reported.