The Orange County Register
Thousands of Lakers fans gathered outside the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate the team’s 17th NBA championship late Sunday, despite pleas by city leaders to avoid the area and large crowds because of the coronavirus.
Helicopter footage showed a large raucous and jubilant crowd cheering and setting off fireworks in the streets outside the Staples Center. Many yelled “Kobe!”
Shortly after 8:30 p.m., the CHP announced that the Pico Boulevard and 9th Street off-ramps from the Northbound 110 Freeway and the Pico Boulevard off-ramp from the Eastbound 10 Freeway would be closed until further notice, as authorities sought to dissuade more revelers from entering the area.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in a tweet earlier in the evening reminded residents that it is still not safe to gather in groups and asked that they “honor our city’s triumph by protecting others and making sure we don’t spread the virus.”
Shortly after 9 p.m., LAPD officers declared an unlawful assembly and ordered revelers to leave the area. Live streams from the scene captured officers firing some type of less-than-lethal rounds as objects were thrown toward officers and officers advanced on the remaining crowd.
There were reports that some in the crowd had also attacked police cruisers. No arrests were immediately reported.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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