WORLD 76 arrested as celebration of Lakers championship win turns chaotic in Los Angeles

WORLD

76 arrested as celebration of Lakers championship win turns chaotic in Los Angeles

Xinhua

13:18, October 13, 2020

Police officers are seen on duty near the New York City Hall in New York, the United States, June 30, 2020. (Phoro: Xinhua/Wang Ying)

A total of 76 people were arrested and more than 30 buildings were damaged Sunday night as a celebration of the Lakers NBA championship win turned chaotic in downtown Los Angeles, authorities said Monday.

"What started out as a largely peaceful celebration of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA championship in downtown Los Angeles, turned into confrontational, violent and destructive behavior late last night," the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement.

"A crowd of more than 1,000 revelers descended into the area around Staples Center after the game. Unruly individuals mixed within the crowd began throwing glass bottles, rocks and other projectiles at officers," the department stated.

Staples Center is a multi-purpose arena in downtown Los Angeles, home to two NBA teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers.

Officials said 76 individuals were arrested and charged with vandalism, assault on a police officer and failure to disperse.

Two of the crowd were injured by less lethal munitions fired by police officers and transported to local hospitals. Eight officers were also injured and received medical treatment, according to the department.

Lakers fans took the streets around Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles as the team defeated the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of the NBA finals to win their 17th NBA title. It was the Lakers' first NBA championship in a decade.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti urged people to celebrate safely at home and "do not gather at Staples Center" Sunday night.

"As we cheer our Lakers' 17th championship, please remember it's still not safe to gather in groups. Let's honor our city's triumph by protecting others and making sure we don't spread the virus," the mayor tweeted.

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore also called on Lakers fans to "celebrate responsibly" after the game.

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