Every month, Los Angeles hosts an Art Walk event with the goal of bringing art lovers and the community together. However, on July 12th, the scene was quite different from expected. It all started with a planned demonstration formed in support of those arrested in the Occupy L.A. Movement. However, when the police came to disperse the crowds which had gathered on Spring Street, the crowd refused to leave. Not only that, but one man threw a glass bottle in front of the line of officers. Police responded with batons and non-lethal projectiles, but the crowd continued to throw bottles and cans. They chanted "Whose streets? Our streets!" until they were moved back by LAPD officers in riot gear.
In all, 19 protestors were arrested for their involvement in this incident. The charges included vandalism, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, resisting arrest, blocking traffic, failure to disperse, and more. Four police officers were injured due to the protestors, however their injuries are said to be minor. One female police officer suffered when an object thrown by the crowd struck her in the head.
According to the California Penal Code §241.4 (2011), assault can be punished by a $1,000 fine and up to six months in prison. When the assault is against a member of the police department, the jail time can increase to one year. In this incident, it was not only assault on a police officer, but assault with a deadly weapon. California Penal Code §245 (2011) states that anyone who commits assault with a deadly weapon can be fined $10,000 and sent to state prison for up to four years. When this assault targets a police officer, the prison time can increase to five years. For more information, please contact our office for answers concerning this issue.