Photo: Wikimedia Commons (Photo : Wikimedia Commons)
Hollywood has been plagued this week by what the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is calling "packs of young people" who took the streets on Monday and Tuesday, robbing people and local businesses.
On Tuesday night, 12 Individuals were arrested after the rampages, following the arrest of 14 people on Monday who had been part of a peaceful protest of the George Zimmerman verdict. It's estimated that at least 150 people broke off from that protest and became violent, according to various media reports.
Tuesday's incident occurred around 8:00 p.m., according to LAPD spokesman Officer Cleo Joseph. "We arrested 12 people, 11 for robberies, and one for receiving stolen property," Joseph said.
The Los Angeles Times reports that at least 40 people were involved in Tuesday's rampage. Police arrived on the scene and flooded the streets, chasing after the youths, who broke off into smaller groups and re-bonded over a two to three hour period. Officials reportedly described the incidents on Tuesday as "strong-arm robberies," where youths threatened tourists, residents and businesses with the use of firearms, though none were apparently recovered.
Fox News reports that Tuesday's rampage may have been organized through Twitter or other social media sites, including some posts that allegedly urged people to gather in Hollywood "to riot." Police are reportedly scouring social media, investigating these claims.
According to USA Today, Tuesday's attacks followed a string of arrests on Monday night in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles. A total of 14 people were arrested on Monday after approximately 150 people who had been part of a group peacefully protesting the George Zimmerman verdict broke off and became violent.
These protestors reportedly ran through the streets, breaking store windows, jumping on cars and punching bystanders. Additionally, a Wal-Mart store in the area was vandalized.
It remains unclear whether the chaos that erupted on Tuesday was a follow-up to Monday's violence or apparent anger at the end result of the Zimmerman trial.
"None of these individuals was protesting, there was no physical evidence of that," Lt. Ray Valois told USA Today. "They may be acting out."