L.A. Lakers fans celebrated their NBA championship victory Sunday night (June 14) by rioting outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Eyewitness reports said that the police officers at the scene were being belted with rocks and bottles. There are also reports of fans starting fires, although it isn’t clear at this stage whether those fires included buildings or vehicles. One unconfirmed report says that at least one police vehicle has been set on fire.
Live footage at 9:15pm local time from a local television station clearly shows rioters attacking signs and shop fronts. Police control of the area at this time would appear to be limited, with vehicle traffic having to turn away as they approach the rioters.
More when we have it.
9:30pm PDT Update: Twitter users near the scene are warning people to stay away from the Staples Center Riot area and surrounding streets, describing the scene as chaos. More reports of fires being lit.
9:33pm PDT: just grabbed this shot from a live video feed showing rioters attacking a taxi. Immediately after this shot was taken, other vehicles were surrounded and attacked.
9:42pm PDT: reports that police have declared the riot an “unlawful gathering.” TV footage shows rioters dispersing. Some attacks now happening West of the Harbor (110) Freeway
9:47pm PDT: fires still being lit
More updates in 30 minutes. Rioters have moved past the 110 and are attacking more vehicles, including a TV van.
10:35pm PDT: less rioters on the ground, but attacks continuing, including a Robeks Juice outlet. A lot more police in the area, rioters run when police arrive.
10:40pm PDT: AP, some local outlets now calling it a riot (many local sites called this “celebrating.”) We know that two police vehicles have been damaged, no reports of injuries yet.
10:45pm PDT: live video is following a number of people who don’t seem to be doing much. People on Twitter are still saying there is activity in the area. Worst may be over.
10:50pm PDT: still a few scattered groups, although they seem to be more behaved…least they aren’t stopping traffic. Debris on the road seems to be an issue per this shot (the white bits on the road)