Kings' Stanley Cup Crowd Mostly Peaceful

LAPD's plan for keeping the scene outside Staples Center under control works, as most fans react appropriately to the home town team's win. In 2010, an L.A. Lakers championship led to 40 arrests, 15 for felonies.

A 45-year drought ended with the Los Angeles Kings' 6-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils and hundreds of jubilant, mostly well-behaved Kings fans spilled onto the street outside Staples Center, but police also made several arrests and scattered a small rock-throwing group in the aftermath of the win.

The happy crowd of people celebrating the Kings first Stanley Cup championship on Monday night was met by lines of helmeted Los Angeles police officers clad in riot gear and more than a dozen mounted officers on visor-wearing police horses.

The LAPD officers also set up skirmish lines facing east and west on Chick Hearn Court outside Staples and maintained tight control over the peaceful crowd.

For the most part, the department kept a hands-off approach to allow the crowd to peacefully celebrate the victory as officers gradually moved people out of the area.

"One officer announced to the crowd at around 8:50 p.m. Monday that if they weren't an officer they needed to start to leave the area,'' said a City News Service reporter at the scene.

As of 10:30 p.m. Monday, a total of four people had been arrested -- one for aggravated assault, one for battery, one for public intoxication and one for ticket scalping, said LAPD spokeswoman Officer Wendy Reyes.

Police from the Metropolitan Division also used rubber bullets to break up a group of people who were throwing rocks and bottles at a bus around 9:30 p.m. Monday, near the intersection of Ninth and Figueroa streets, Reyes said.

A man on a bicycle was seen bleeding from the head in the area of Eighth
and Figueroa, said a news cameraman at the scene.

Nearly a half-hour before the game ended the LAPD declared a citywide tactical alert, according to Officer Cleon Joseph of the Media Relations section. This enabled LAPD commanders to hold over officers from one shift to the next to deal with any contingencies that might arise. The alert was finally cancelled around midnight, according to the LAPD.

Additionally, the department dispatched undercover officers to the scene. According to police radio transmissions, the undercover officers were ordered to focus on anyone wearing Devils jerseys and gear to make sure they got out of the area safely.

As part of the crowd control process, the LAPD also closed a number of streets to vehicle traffic in the area around Staples Center at 1111 S. Figueroa and the adjoining L.A. Live complex.

"The area shut down is bounded by Seventh Street on the north, Olive Street on the east, Washington Boulevard on the South and Albany Street on the west," Joseph said.

All the streets were cleared and reopened by 9:45 p.m. Monday, said LAPD Det. Gus Villanueva of the Media Relations section.

The jubilant and mostly well-mannered fan reaction to the Kings title contrasted to past incidents of violent behavior that followed championships by the Los Angeles Lakers.

A melee on June 17, 2010, the last time the Lakers won the National Basketball Association title, resulted in 40 arrests, 15 for felonies. 

Several fans torched a taxi cab and other crimes included inciting a riot, throwing flammable objects in public, resisting arrest, committing assault and battery on police officers and acts of vandalism -- all occurred after the victory.

Firefighters responded to three vehicle fires, one vegetation fire and 15 rubbish fires within a half-mile radius of Staples Center, where the fire department handled 18 medical aid requests and took eight people to hospitals. One officer suffered a broken nose when he was struck by a thrown object, and at least one police car was damaged.


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