A pro-Israel demonstration outside a federal building Sunday in Westwood turned physical after protesters ripped a Palestinian flag away from a passing vehicle and began stomping on it, according to media reports.
People in the vehicle got out and tried to retrieve the flag at about 5:45 p.m. and that’s when the confrontation turned physical, KNBC-TV Channel 4 reported.
The demonstration outside a federal building in the 11000 block of Wilshire Boulevard was being held to back Israel in its bombing of targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire sent from Gaza by Hamas, authorities said.
The protest was nearing its conclusion when “a verbal and physical altercation ensued between the occupants of two vehicles leaving the area,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.
A federal officer trying to break up the fight fired a single gunshot, according to the Sheriff’s Department. No one was injured.
No sheriff’s deputies were involved but the department is investigating, officials said.
Four people were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, KNBC reported. The weapons were reportedly wooden poles used to hold protest signs.
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