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Thousands of fans ignore COVID rules to converge at LA Staples Center following Lakers' championship win; many target cops during chaos
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Thousands of fans ignore COVID rules to converge at LA Staples Center following Lakers' championship win; many target cops during chaos

Surprise, surprise

A massive horde of NBA fans took to the streets of Los Angeles after the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA title. The Lakers won 106-93 over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the finals on Sunday night.

What are the details?

KABC-TV reported that thousands of people showed up on Figueroa Street outside Los Angeles' Staples Center, and some of them targeted police officers and their cruisers as officers were forced to declare the scene an unlawful assembly.

Days ahead of the Lakers' win, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti directed citizens to stay off of the streets due to COVID-19 restrictions.

On Friday, Garcetti said that NBA fans should not congregate on the streets during or after the game — which took place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida — either to celebrate a win or lament a loss.

"I encourage you to yell at the top of your lungs inside your homes, maybe even open up the window or step outside your door as we've done for our first responders and essential medical workers to thank them," Garcetti said. "Let's thank the Lakers when they win, but let's do it safe."

Garcetti also warned that disregarding his advice could sabotage "all the progress we have made in our fight against COVID-19."

"LAPD went into tactical alert and declared the gathering an unlawful assembly," KABC reported. "Cars were seen performing 'donuts' and 'burnouts,' some cars were swarmed by fans in the streets."

The report continued, "Multiple fireworks were set off and there were isolated reports of small groups throwing rocks and bottles at police."

The station noted that local police and California Highway Patrol officers shut down ramps leading to the downtown area during the melee.

Bleacher Report on Monday noted that many of the fans "began throwing beer bottles and other 'projectiles' at uniformed police officers that swarmed the area."

"The few isolated incidents soon grew to a large mob of sports fans which soon made their way down the streets of Los Angeles turning over police cars and breaking into local businesses," the outlet reported. "Some innocent bystanders became injured in the incident as the hoard [sic] came rushing down the streets."

The outlet added that police arrived on the scene en masse "with riot gear and shots of tear gas which were thrown into the mass of hysterical fans."

The Daily Mail also reported that "witnesses told the Los Angeles Times that officers also fired 'beanbag rounds' at one point, which sent some people running."

(H/T: The Daily Wire)

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