L.A.'s Ferguson Protestors Cause Traffic Jam on 10 Freeway
The California Highway Patrol managed to stop them from entering the off-ramp
Protesters have backed up a portion of L.A.'s 10 freeway after a grand jury decided not to indict a Ferguson, Mo. police officer in the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown.
Protesters gathered in Leimert Park in South Los Angeles prior to the announcement of the verdict, according to KTLA 5. After the verdict, dozens of protesters marched down Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Footage of the demonstrators showed them blocking traffic but remaining otherwise peaceful.
The protesters then attempted to make their way up the off-ramp for the 10 Freeway’s La Brea Avenue exit, but their path was blocked by California Highway Patrol members. Their attempt to get onto the freeway has caused a traffic jam. Traffic was backed up for miles, according to ABC 7. The network later reported protesters were headed toward the 110 freeway on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., and that CPH officers were blocking the ramps.
KTLA's Gadi Schwartz posted several images and Vines of a group of protesters heading West on Wilshire Blvd. from La Brea Ave., where they had been lying in the street. This group of protesters eventually made its way to Beverly Hills, where they also were seen lying down in the street, causing traffic problems.
At approximately 10:00 p.m., the University of Southern California campus was put on lockdown because of the protests.
"Michael Brown's death has ignited deep passions across the nation, and Los Angeles is no exception," said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti in a statement. "Tonight's decision is one that will be heatedly debated — but we should do so through dialogue and peaceful action. City departments are mobilized to assist in the exercise of peaceful protest."
The protests come after a grand jury in Missouri decided not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Brown. Brown's Aug. 9 death has become a national controversy.
Protests in Ferguson have grown violent, with police disbursing tear gas. Other cities have protests of their own, including Oakland, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York. Brown's family and President Barack Obama have both called for protests to remain peaceful.
Nov. 25, 10:06 p.m.: Updated with information on 110 ramp closings.