Monday, September 13, 2010
A construction worker with an expired visa in the US illegally, Manuel Jamines was shot dead after threatening a passer-by with a knife.
LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles riot police arrested 22 protesters and fired rubber bullets in a second night of clashes after a Guatemalan immigrant was shot dead in a confrontation with officers, officials said early Wednesday.
Angry mostly Hispanic demonstrators hurled rocks, bottles and eggs at the local police station in the MacArthur Park area near downtown Los Angeles, according to an AFP photographer on the scene.
Those arrested were detained on charges including unlawful assembly and failing to disperse after the violence, said Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer Karen Rayner.
The black-clad riot police fired rubber bullets and non-lethal bean-bags to disperse the crowd. No protesters or police were injured, but one person was struck by a slingshot projectile, according to police.
About 300 people earlier blocked a nearby road junction, and police declared an unlawful assembly before moving in. On Monday night there were some 100 protestors.
The fresh unrest -- in a city where dozens of people died in race riots in 1992 after the notorious police beating of a young black man, Rodney King -- came hours after the Los Angeles police chief defended his officers.
Speaking a day after protesters burned mattresses and other rubbish Monday night, police chief Charlie Beck said the officers involved had been defending themselves in the shooting Sunday.
Thirty-seven year-old a construction worker with an expired visa in the US illegally, Manuel Jamines was shot dead after threatening a passer-by with a knife. He ignored orders from bicycle officers to drop his weapon, instead lunging at them, a spokesman said.
"He was ordered several times in English and Spanish to drop the knife, and failed to comply," said Beck.
"The suspect then raised the knife over his head and advanced on officers, at which time an officer-involved shooting occurred. The suspect fell to the ground where he was taken into custody without further incident."
Jamines was pronounced dead at the scene, he added.
The comments came after four people were arrested and a policeman injured in clashes with some 100 protesters late Monday.
Police maintained a "heavy" presence in the area Tuesday. Some 50 people held a peaceful vigil during the day, when the protest remained peaceful, before descending into violence in the evening.
Protestors insisted Jamines was drunk but not dangerous. "This guy didn't speak good English, he was just walking around," said Carlos Ortega, 27. "The police, they put him on the ground and shot him," he added.