Police declared an unlawful assembly in South Los Angeles before 10 p.m. Monday after a group of demonstrators protesting the acquittal of George Zimmerman committed assault, vandalized businesses and jumped on stopped cars.
Thirteen arrests were made Monday night, including six juveniles, for a variety of alleged crimes, including failure to disperse and assault, said LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman.
Monday was the third night of demonstrations in the area by those angered by a Florida jury's acquittal of Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, in the 2012 killing of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.
In a late-night news conference, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said the department was "sorely disappointed" by the actions of about 150 people who broke away from a peaceful vigil Monday night "and vandalized and assaulted" people on Crenshaw Boulevard.
"This will not be allowed to continue; unfortunately the rights of the many has been abused by the actions of a few," Beck said. "Because of that tomorrow, LAPD will have a must stricter posture in the way we deal with people taking the streets of Crenshaw Boulevard."
More than 300 officers were deployed Monday night to handle the chaos, he said.
Beck urged parents to not send their children to protest in and around the Crenshaw area and asked everyone to obey the law and direction of LAPD officers.
"We want everyone to get their point across but we want to keep everyone safe," he said.
Amidst the chaos, a KCAL9 cameraman was struck from behind Monday night and was taken to the hospital for treatment of a possible concussion, Neiman said. After he was hit and swung around, his camera struck his reporter, who was treated at the scene for an injury. No other injuries were reported Monday night.
Neiman said they were investigating reports of damaged businesses and vehicles, some of which were stopped at a stop light when they were allegedly attacked.
"It's crazy right now," Neiman said earlier in the night. "Young kids are running all over the place. We're doing our best to control them but it's very difficult right now."
Mayor Eric Garcetti applauded those who have peacefully expressed their opinions, which he said was the overwhelming majority of the community members who attended Monday night's prayer vigil in Leimert Plaza Park.
While the trial in Florida has ignited passions, he said, "We have to make sure that it will not ignite the city."
"People deserve to be able to express their opinions and we will continue to allow that space to happen but people also deserve to be safe on their streets and in their cars," he said.
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