UPDATED 7:06 AM PT – Thursday, March 25, 2021
Law enforcement in Los Angeles, California clashed with protesters when officials prepared to clear out a large homeless community. Early Thursday morning, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said officers were assaulted with rocks , bottles and smoke bombs.
Authorities declared an unlawful assembly and ordered people to clear the area. This came in response to hundreds of protesters gathering at Echo Park Lake on Wednesday after city officials announced their intent to clear out a homeless encampment located inside the park.
Protesters argued the city isn’t doing enough to help the homeless community as officials struggle to place homeless individuals in various housing programs.
“Well, I think a lot of people want this city to be very pretty and a certain way…I don’t really agree with that,” said protester Julian Cullars. “I think they want to dump out all the people here so they can have their nice little park, but unfortunately we just have people in the city who need somewhere to stay and this is the spot.”
YALL ITS GOING DOWN IN ECHO PARK pic.twitter.com/T1zUDUoBkE
— People’s City Council – Los Angeles (@PplsCityCouncil) March 25, 2021
Officials said they plan to carry out renovations and maintenance throughout the par, which are estimated to cost over half a million dollars. The park is expected to be completely cleared out by city officials as early as Thursday morning.