[ENT] Los Angeles police arrest 76 people after LA Lakers won 17th NBA championship

The Los Angeles Police Department said officers arrested 76 people during a downtown celebration after the LA Lakers won their 17th National Basketball Association championship.   

Many of the arrests were for failure to disperse, five for looting and one for vandalism, said Officer Drake Madison, a department spokesman. 

Eight officers were treated for injuries and two members of the crowd were taken to hospitals after being injured by so-called less lethal munitions fired by officers, Madison’s statement said.  

The celebration by about 1,000 people was initially largely peaceful but ‘unruly individuals’ mixed into the crowd and threw glass, bottles, rocks and other projectiles at officers, police added. 

The Lakers beat the Miami Heat 106-93 Sunday night in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, to win the NBA Finals in six games.

The sounds of fireworks immediately reverberated across Los Angeles and fans headed to Staples Center, the Lakers’ home court, to celebrate – despite admonitions to stay away.

Videos posted online also showed cars doing ‘donuts’ and fireworks being set off in the street – which is illegal without a permit.  

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The Los Angeles Police Department said officers arrested 76 people during a downtown celebration after the LA Lakers won their 17th National Basketball Association championship. A police officer tries to disperse rowdy fans in the street on Sunday  

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Many of the arrests were for failure to disperse, five for looting and one for vandalism, said Officer Drake Madison, a department spokesman

Many of the arrests were for failure to disperse, five for looting and one for vandalism, said Officer Drake Madison, a department spokesman 

Eight officers were treated for injuries and two members of the crowd were taken to hospitals after being injured by so-called less lethal munitions fired by officers, Madison's statement said

Eight officers were treated for injuries and two members of the crowd were taken to hospitals after being injured by so-called less lethal munitions fired by officers, Madison’s statement said 

A man is detained by police outside the Staples Center after chaos erupted outside the venue on Sunday. Cops reportedly declared an unlawful assembly after crowds failed to disperse

A man is detained by police outside the Staples Center after chaos erupted outside the venue on Sunday. Cops reportedly declared an unlawful assembly after crowds failed to disperse

Thousands flooded the streets in downtown Los Angeles, ignoring earlier warnings from public health officials for fans to celebrate at home

Thousands flooded the streets in downtown Los Angeles, ignoring earlier warnings from public health officials for fans to celebrate at home

Los Angeles Lakers fans celebrate their team winning the 2020 NBA Championship against the Miami Heat, amid the coronavirus pandemic

Los Angeles Lakers fans celebrate their team winning the 2020 NBA Championship against the Miami Heat, amid the coronavirus pandemic

Police try to control a crowd on the street outside the Staples Center as Los Angels Lakers fans celebrate their team winning

Police try to control a crowd on the street outside the Staples Center as Los Angels Lakers fans celebrate their team winning 

Social media footage also showed fans surrounding LAPD squad cars and banging on the vehicles, prompting police to take action and declare an unlawful assembly. 

At least one person was seen being detained by officers dressed in riot gear amid the chaos. 

Police and California Highway Patrol officers shut down ramps leading to the Los Angeles downtown area after crowds got out of control. 

Witnesses told the Los Angeles Times that officers fired ‘beanbag rounds’ at one point, which sent some people running. Cops however, said they did not resort to using pepper balls or gas to try to disperse crowds, KNX 1070 News radio reported.

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A few officers on horseback worked to push the crowd away from Staples Center. Later in the night, the large gathering fractured into several groups.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had discouraged public gatherings to celebrate the win, instead urging fans to cheer on the team from home.

‘As we cheer our @Lakers’ 17th championship, please remember it´s still not safe to gather in groups,’ the mayor tweeted, in reference to the coronavirus pandemic.

The championship win, the first for the franchise since 2010, capped an unprecedented season that resumed in July following a four-month COVID-19 shutdown.   

Fans cower from police as the authorities try to disperse the rowdy crowd from outside of Staples Center with projectiles

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Fans cower from police as the authorities try to disperse the rowdy crowd from outside of Staples Center with projectiles

Thousands of people dressed in purple and gold took to the streets to celebrate the franchise's first NBA title since 2010

 Thousands of people dressed in purple and gold took to the streets to celebrate the franchise’s first NBA title since 2010

Lakers fans celebrate near Staples Centers as Los Angeles plays against Miami Heat in Game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals

Lakers fans celebrate near Staples Centers as Los Angeles plays against Miami Heat in Game 6 of the 2020 NBA Finals

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday urged residents to celebrate from their homes to make sure 'all the progress we have made in our fight against COVID-19 isn't reversed from one night of celebration'

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday urged residents to celebrate from their homes to make sure ‘all the progress we have made in our fight against COVID-19 isn’t reversed from one night of celebration’

The Los Angeles Lakers captured a record-tying 17th NBA Championship that sealed the best-of-seven title series 4-2, restoring the storied franchise to the top of the basketball world.

The Lakers’ victory tied them with the Boston Celtics for most NBA championships and capped an unprecedented season that resumed in July at a spectator-free campus at Disney World in Florida after the COVID-19 shutdown.

Finals MVP LeBron James led the way for the Lakers, scoring 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists while spearheading a defensive masterclass that doused the Heat’s offense.

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The Lakers also got a key contribution from Rajon Rondo as the veteran point guard delivered an early offensive burst that helped them to a 28-point halftime lead and the Heat never threatened again.

‘It means a lot to represent this franchise,’ said James, who joined the team in the summer of 2018 after they had missed the playoffs five seasons in a row.

‘I told (Lakers president) Jeanie (Buss) when I came here that I was going to put this franchise back in the position where it belongs.

LeBron James celebrates his fourth NBA title with JR Smith and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates on Sunday night

LeBron James celebrates his fourth NBA title with JR Smith and his Los Angeles Lakers teammates on Sunday night

LeBron James holds his fourth NBA Finals MVP award, which is named for Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell

LeBron James holds his fourth NBA Finals MVP award, which is named for Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell 

Sunday's game was the 260th of James' playoff career, lifting him into sole possession of first place on the league's postseason appearances list

Sunday’s game was the 260th of James’ playoff career, lifting him into sole possession of first place on the league’s postseason appearances list

‘We just want our respect. Rob (Pelinka) wants his respect, coach (Frank) Vogel wants his respect, our organization wants its respect, Lakers nation wants its respect,’ he said. ‘And I want my damn respect too.’

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The championship win ends a more than 90-day stay for the Lakers inside the NBA’s bio-secure bubble.

It also marked the end of an emotional season for the franchise after Lakers great Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others near Los Angeles in January.

Racial justice issues were front and center since the NBA restarted, with players wearing slogans like ‘Vote’ and ‘Education Reform.’

The death of George Floyd, a Black man, in police custody in Minneapolis in May, sparked nationwide protests and renewed calls for reform among players and the public.

‘We all want to see better days and when we leave here, we have to continue to push that,’ James said.

‘Continue to push against social injustice, continue to push against voter suppression, continue to push against police brutality, continue to push against everything that is the opposite of love.

‘If we continue to do that – all of us – America will be a much better place.’

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