From ABC Local
It’s a monthly event for downtown artists and shops to show off their wares, but Art Walk turned into a riot on Thursday night when Occupy Los Angeles protesters started using chalk to scroll graffiti on sideways and buildings.
Three police officers were injured during a clash with protesters. The officers were taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries. Two were released, but one remained hospitalized Friday morning.
The trouble started just before 9 p.m. when a crowd started filling the area around Fifth and Spring streets. Occupy Los Angeles protesters were in downtown for a “Free Chalk for Free Speech” event to show support for people previously arrested for chalking on the sidewalks. The event was not sanctioned by authorities, so it caught them by surprise. Police in riot gear broke up a crowd of about 200 people.
Authorities said some of those people threw rocks, bottles and other objects at officers. Police, who were on citywide tactical alert, responded with rubber bullets on the crowd.
“I was just here for Art Walk. I didn’t know anything was going to happen. I walked toward a group of people, and I see the police, so I turn around because I don’t want to get in trouble, and they … shot me in the chest. I fell to the ground,” said witness Charlie Shepard.
Police dispersed the crowd by midnight. Sixteen people were arrested for various charges, from vandalism to assault on police officers. Crews were out early Friday morning cleaning up the mess, while residents found themselves wondering how it all got out of control.
Read more here.