LOS ANGELES, CA – Occupy LA protesters have cost the city of Los Angeles an estimated $2.35 million since they took to the cities streets.
According to the Los Angeles Times much of that money has been spent paying police officers overtime, which in turn helps the local economy.
The high cost of watching over the protesters does not include some other costs such as repairing the lawn where protesters have been camping for two-months along with a vandalized fountain outside City Hall.
In the spending report time-and-a-half was paid to regular force and general services police who patrol city parks, an amount equal to approximately $1.5 million.
City officials expect that at least $1.7 million will be added to the cities expected $72 million debt while the rest will be covered by standard operating costs.
While that number may seem high the Michael Jackson single-day memorial service at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in 2009 cost the city $3.2 million for an event that didn’t even last the entire day.
In the meantime the city attorney has suggested that protesters could be sued to recover the cost of damages caused by demonstrators at the City Hall fountain incident.
In response to the attorney’s suggestion of a lawsuit one spokesman for Occupy LA called the cities estimated figures “outrageous” and accused the city of using protesters as scape goats for the cities own operating expense problems.
As Carlos Marroquin told the LA Times:
“This was a peaceful movement,” and “They’re the ones who decided to use that amount of police.”
Do you think the city went overboard by putting 1,400 police officers on duty for a peaceful protest?