28 arrested in anti-Trump protest in downtown LA; 101 Freeway reopened

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Twenty-eight people were arrested overnight Wednesday as some 3,000 protesters took to the streets of downtown L.A. and blocked traffic on the 101 Freeway to decry the election of Donald Trump.

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed the number of people taken into custody. It was unclear what specific charges or citations they were facing.

The freeway was fully reopened at about 3:45 a.m. Thursday.

The massive demonstration took place amid similar protests in other major U.S. cities including San Francisco, Oakland, New York and Chicago.

Some marchers in L.A. chanted "Not my president" and carried anti-Trump signs, while a group burned a piñata effigy of Trump's head on the steps of City Hall. Others were seen spray-painting downtown buildings and TV news vans with slogans critical of the president-elect.

LAPD LT. Chris Ramirez said officers were pelted with bottles and rocks, and a patrol vehicle was vandalized.

"The people can voice their opinion, but we also have to protect our regular citizens that are walking around and going to work, going to school," the lieutenant said, "and make sure that they get to those places safely."

In interviews at the scene, some explained their reasons for participating in the protest.

"I don't want a president like Donald Trump who represents--who's been saying things that are racist, sexist, Islamophobic, homophobic--all those things that are so negative," Melanie Vigil said as a crowd behind her shouted "We are one" in unison. "I don't want a president that represents everything that is negative about this world," she added.

"I do not believe in what he says," another young woman said, "and I'm here to say that when I have a son or daughter or any kid one year, I can say that when Donald Trump won the presidency I was here fighting it."

After the crowd spilled onto the 101 Freeway and blocked all lanes in one direction, authorities decided to shut down the other side. Some motorists were stuck in their vehicles for hours as demonstrators filed past them. By midnight, police allowed some drivers to make their way off of the southbound side of freeway.

All lanes were opened several hours later, as crews spent the early morning removing graffiti that had been sprayed by some protesters.

"I understand that the results of Tuesday's election are painful for many of us," Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement, "and this kind of engagement can be a meaningful part of the healing we need after such a long and divisive campaign. But walking and throwing objects onto freeways is dangerous for pedestrians and drivers -- and it puts a heavy burden on people just trying to make it home to their families or get get to work safely."

Crowd-control barriers remained in place Thursday morning in front of LAPD headquarters in downtown, where more demonstrations are expected to be held later in the day.
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