The Los Angeles Lakers secured their 17th NBA title on Sunday. Shortly after the Lakers beat the Miami Heat in Game 6 and won the championship, fans took to the streets of Los Angeles to celebrate. During the celebration, 76 people ended up being arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department while more than 30 buildings and businesses were damaged, according to the Associated Press.
Among the crimes that were committed were failure to disperse, vandalism, and assault on a police officer, according to the AP. In addition, eight police officers were injured and two fans were taken to area hospitals after being injured in the crowds. There were approximately 1,000 people celebrating the Lakers’ title win and the majority was described as largely peaceful, the AP noted.
However, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that there were some “unruly individuals” that threw glass bottles, rocks and other items. According to the Los Angeles Times, officers fired off “beanbag rounds” at one point during the celebration, which sent several fans running. Officers also appeared on horseback and attempted to push a large crowd away from the Staples Center, which is where the Lakers traditionally play their home games, but were not able to during the 2020 NBA playoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just last week, Los Angeles County Health Officer Mr. Muntu Davis publicly said that he understiid that fans were excited about the Lakers potentially winning a championship, but urged people to celebrate at home, according to CBS Los Angeles. Clearly, not everyone received that message. There are currently no plans for the city to celebrate the Lakers’ win while the COVID-19 pandemic continues.