2 still face charges in L. A. fra­cas

Judge de­nied re­quest by city for pro­tec­tive or­der that would have kept ac­tivists away from Garcetti, Beck.

Los Angeles Times - - LOS ANGELES - By Howard Blume and Kate Mather howard.blume@latimes.com kate.mather@latimes.com Times staff writer Veron­ica Rocha con­trib­uted to this re­port. For more South­ern Cal­i­for­nia news, fol­low @ howard­blume and @ katemather.

A judge de­nied a re­quest by the Los An­ge­les city at­tor­ney’s of­fice for a pro­tec­tive or­der that would have pro­hib­ited two ac­tivists from com­ing within 50 feet of Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Char­lie Beck.

The ac­tivists still face mis­de­meanor charges re­lated to a fra­cas last week at a city recre­ation cen­ter in South Los An­ge­les.

Garcetti and Beck were meet­ing pri­vately at the Mount Carmel Recre­ation Cen­ter with “fi­nan­cial back­ers” of the Sum­mer Night Lights youth pro­gram Wed­nes­day evening when Evan Bunch, 28, went into the room, Of­fi­cer Jack Richter said.

Se­cu­rity tried to es­cort Bunch out, but he re­sisted, po­lice said. A scuff le broke out be­tween se­cu­rity and Bunch, and “one of the of­fi­cers got scraped up,” Richter said.

Then Luz Maria Flores, 23, tried to pull Bunch away from the po­lice, Richter said. She was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of lynch­ing, which Richter said means “try­ing to ex­tri­cate some­one from the po­lice when the per­son is in cus­tody.”

Bunch is charged with tres­pass­ing, bat­tery on a po­lice of­fi­cer and three counts of re­sist­ing ar­rest, as well as caus­ing an in­jury to the of­fi­cer, ac­cord­ing to the city at­tor­ney’s of­fice. Flores has been charged with three counts of re­sist­ing ar­rest and bat­tery on a po­lice of­fi­cer.

They pleaded not guilty at a hear­ing Fri­day, and Los An­ge­les County Su­pe­rior Court Judge Mark Hana­sono or­dered them re­leased with­out bail.

“I wish you had a pic­ture of what this great in­jury is,” said their at­tor­ney, Nana Gyamfi. “It is not an in­jury. It’s what peo­ple call a boo­boo. Like a scrape … be­tween the man’s shoul­der and el­bow, prob­a­bly the size of a dime.”

She said that ac­tivists from Black Lives Mat­ter have been ask­ing for a meet­ing with Garcetti and been re­buffed, although not ex­plic­itly. In­stead, when they try to speak to Garcetti or his aides — and are rec­og­nized — po­lice block their ac­cess and ask them to leave. If they don’t, Gyamfi said, they risk ar­rest.

The group con­tests the city’s as­ser­tion that Garcetti was in­volved in a pri­vate meet­ing at the time Bunch sought to speak to him.

In ad­di­tion to a meet­ing with Garcetti, Black Lives Mat­ter is seek­ing Beck’s dis­missal, along with the f ir­ing and pros­e­cu­tion of the of­fi­cers who fa­tally shot Ezell Ford.

Although Beck said the of­fi­cers acted within LAPD pol­icy in their shoot­ing of Ford, the civil­ian Po­lice Com­mis­sion that over­sees the depart­ment de­ter­mined oth­er­wise. Com­mis­sion­ers found that one of­fi­cer was wrong to use deadly force but cleared the other in the fa­tal shoot­ing. It is now up to Beck to de­cide what, if any, dis­ci­pline to im­pose on the of­fi­cers.

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