A reporter and cameraman for CBS2/KCAL9 were attacked in the Crenshaw district by rogue protesters who broke off from a peaceful demonstration at Leimert Park, police said Tuesday.
Reporter Dave Bryan was interviewing Joseph Degurre, 43, about 10 p.m. Monday when video shows Bryan getting hit in the back of the head by the cameraman’s camera. The attackers then ran off, witnesses said.
“He pushed the camera guy down and the camera guy went down, the camera went down, David went down,” Degurre told The Times after the incident.
Video at the scene captured two men running off into the darkness.
Bryan and the cameraman suffered minor injuries, the channel reported Tuesday.
About 350 Los Angeles Police Department officers swarmed the Crenshaw district Monday night after groups of youths broke away from the demonstration protesting the George Zimmerman murder trial verdict.
The group roamed Crenshaw Boulevard and neighboring streets, breaking windows, setting fires and attacking several people.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck put the public on notice that officers would be taking a more aggressive posture toward protesters beginning Tuesday.
“This will not be allowed to continue,” he said.
Police estimated that about 150 people took part in the violence after the peaceful vigil at Leimert Park following a Florida jury’s Saturday acquittal of Zimmerman, 29, on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter in last year’s shooting death of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Protesters stormed a Wal-Mart at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, pushing their way through as guards scrambled to close security gates. A short while later, LAPD officers wearing helmets and carrying batons swarmed the store as others marched through the parking lot.
At a late-night news conference, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti blamed the violence on a "a small group [that] has taken advantage of this situation.”
He said protesters have the right to voice their disagreement with the verdict, “but people also deserve to be safe on the streets and in their cars.”
In Oakland, hundreds of protesters stormed Interstate 880 near downtown Monday evening and blocked traffic in the southbound and northbound lanes. The protesters were cleared from the freeway and made their way downtown, authorities said.
By late Monday night, several arrests had been made in the downtown area as officers from neighboring jurisdictions responded to the chaos, the Oakland Police Department said.