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1,000 Protest at Walmart in Paramount; 9 arrests made

A local Walmart in Paramount was the scene of a protest the day after Thanksgiving that has resulted in arrests by law enforcement officials.

This is a selfmade image from the english wiki...

Walmart scene of protest in Paramount

Shortly after 7:00 am on “Black Friday,” several people, including some people who identified themselves as Walmart employees, started gathering in front of the Walmart at 14501 Lakewood Blvd, in the city of Paramount.

By about 10:40AM, about 1,000 protesters had arrived at the Walmart in 3 buses plus many personal cars.

The protesters walked in front of the entrance to the store but did not block customers from entering.

After 11:00AM, the protesters began to gather on the sidewalk on Lakewood Blvd. At about 11:40AM, hundreds of protesters walked out onto Lakewood Blvd and Century Blvd and blocked traffic lanes.

At 11:45AM, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies issued an order to disperse to the protesters who were blocking the street. Nearly all of the protesters left the street, stepped up onto the sidewalk and watched, while loudly supporting the people remaining in the street.

At 11:50AM deputies approached the nine remaining protesters who were sitting in the traffic lanes on Lakewood Blvd., blocking southbound vehicle traffic lanes. Prior to the protest, these protesters had told deputies of their intentions to be arrested. The nine people refused to leave the street and were arrested for Refusal to Disperse. The arrests were peaceful and without the need for the use of force. Once the arrests were made, traffic lanes were again open for vehicles to travel.

After the arrests were made, the hundreds of remaining protesters who were watching, walked to their buses and cars and left the area.

As of 12:20PM, the area had returned to normal, while several deputies remained on scene to keep the peace.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had about 40 deputies at the scene including Lakewood Sheriff’s Station deputies, the Sheriff’s Special Response Team, motorcycles, a helicopter, and Downey Police Department officers directing traffic for the nearby city of Downey.

“Members of the public chose to exercise their Constitutional Rights to free speech and assembly,” said Lieutenant Minh Dinh, Lakewood Sheriff’s Station. “Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies were on scene to facilitate those rights, as well as the rights of the shoppers to shop, and travellers to drive down the street. Nine arrests were made for Refusal to Dispurse when protesters blocked traffic lanes and peacefully refused to leave. This was a peaceful protest.”

The nine people who were arrested were booked at Lakewood Sheriff’s Station for misdemeanor Refusal to Disperse, 416 (a) CA Penal Code. The arrestees who do not otherwise have outstanding warrants for their arrest, will be cited and released from Lakewood Sheriff’s Station today. It will not be necessary for the arrested persons to post bail.

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