Lakers Fans’ Celebration Forces Los Angeles Police Department To Intervene After Championship Win

According to a recent report from TMZ, the Los Angeles police department arrested a total of 67 people who were celebrating the Lakers championship win outside the Staples Center last night. Due to the coronavirus pandemic currently impacting the United States, cops were particularly concerned with the thousands of people gathered closely together and were forced to arrest citizens for failing to disperse.

The celebration started soon after the team was crowned NBA champions following their defeat of the Miami Heat and continued on to the early hours of Monday morning. Things quickly got out of control as people remained downtown for hours and refused to leave. There have been reports of looting, as well as violence directed toward law enforcement, according to the New York Post. There were also reports of fires started inside a city bus and a citizen’s hand being injured due to fireworks that were set off.

There were recordings of cars doing burnouts in the midst of the gathering, buses being covered in graffiti, and even a number of fans trying to kick in a police car’s windshield. In order to help control the violence of the situation, officers shot rounds of beanbags at the mob. The California Highway Patrol tried to prevent the crowd from growing by closing the freeway exit ramps that led to the downtown area where people were gathered.

Despite the chaos, only one member of law enforcement has confirmed an injury, which was a hand injury that resulted from a champagne bottle thrown by a fan in protest. Prior to the Lakers’ victory in Game 6 of the series, the city’s mayor, Eric Garcetti, encouraged fans to stay at home when the squad took home the title.

“As we cheer our @Lakers’ 17th championship, please remember it’s still not safe to gather in groups. Let’s honor our city’s triumph by protecting others and making sure we don’t spread the virus. Please celebrate safely at home. Do not gather at Staples Center. Thank you!” Garcetti wrote in a tweet late Sunday night.

Although there were several chaotic scenes throughout L.A., others approached the situation in a more peaceful manner. Groups were heard chanting “Kobe” in the streets, in remembrance of the basketball legend who passed away earlier in the year. Many of the members in the squad’s organization — including the general manager, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis — stated that the title win was a tribute to Kobe and his family. One video of the chants that honored Kobe is on Twitter, as seen here.

Share this article: Lakers Fans’ Celebration Forces Los Angeles Police Department To Intervene After Championship Win
More from Inquisitr