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Venice drum circle crowd: 3 arrested by LAPD

People are gathered at the weekly drum circle in Venice on Sunday, April 6, 2014.
April 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police made three arrests while dispersing the drum circle at the Venice Beach boardwalk Sunday night. One person was arrested for throwing a bottle at officers.

Police were watching for trouble after a Facebook page called for hundreds of people to join the circle in solidarity. This comes after a confrontation with police a few weeks ago when the crowd became unruly.

The Venice drum circle has been a part of the boardwalk for more than 30 years. But the music can draw complaints from area residents as the beat can stretch into the night. Under the city's noise ordinance, the show must end at sunset when the crowds clear and the sound amplifies.

"During the day, the drum circle can't be heard by residents or a very faint noise because of all the other things that are going on on the boardwalk. But once that sun goes down, and the boardwalk clears out, the ambient level of the noise is very high," said Sg.t Theresa Skinner with the LAPD.

Last month, things took a violent turn when a massive crowd that had gathered to watch was told to disperse. Some people started throwing bottles as police in riot gear moved in.

Drummers say the trouble came from outside groups that were there to watch the show. Police say drugs and alcohol are often contributing factors.

Many drummers say they are frustrated by the sunset cut off and wish the city would agree to a later deadline.

"If they could stretch it a little bit in the winter...like an hour after sunset. People used to bring used to bring candles. It was beautiful," said drummer Paul Freeman.


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