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.
9:38pm PDT: strong police presence now outside the center, but rioters are in other streets. More passing cars being attacked.
9:40pm PDT: unconfirmed report that the Staples Center is on fire. There were fire brigade vehicles earlier, perhaps confirming the report.
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
9:50pm PDT: reports of two arrests, police claim to have the area under control. Live helicopter footage still shows people in the area though. This shot was taken earlier….
9:55pm PDT: looks completely under control (shot taken at 9:54pm from a live feed)
10pm PDT: the “under control” crowd is currently trashing a bus under the 110
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)
11:02 pm PDT: Riot police spotted, and a mass of police cars in the area….. now they’re charging down the street, not sure at what though.
11:10pm PDT: more police action. They seem to be corralling rioters more than anything. Related: this shot from Twitter shows the shoe store trashed by the rioters
11:25pm PDT: we’ve lost our live video feeds. Twitter updates from the area have dropped off. It may not be completely over, but we’re probably going to call it a night for updates. If there is anything new, we’ll update as it becomes available.