LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Amid an apparent easing of protests, the Los Angeles Police Department and L.A. County Sheriff's Department are coming under sharp criticism from UCLA for using the university's Jackie Robinson Stadium as a field jail'' for arrested protesters and systematically breaching anti-coronavirus measures in the process.
The LAPD used the stadium to house protesters who were arrested Monday for curfew violations following protests of the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
"We're troubled by accounts of Jackie Robinson stadium being used as a 'field jail,''' the university tweeted about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. "This was done without UCLA's knowledge or permission. As lessee of the stadium, we informed local agencies that UCLA will NOT grant permission should there be a request like this in the future."
Faculty members claimed police put protesters arrested in downtown Los Angeles and Westwood on sheriff's department buses and brought them to the stadium, which is also being used as a COVID-19 testing site.
"All protocols of social distancing were violated by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and LAPD with protesters deliberately crowded into buses and officers not following rules and recommendations established by the City, the County, and the CDC, including wearing masks,'' stated a letter signed by 59 members of the UCLA faculty.
"When protesters were taken off the buses, they were subject to processing in the parking lot of the stadium and then released, which meant that they were directed to find their way home late at night (between 1:30 am and 3:30 am) from the Jackie Robinson Stadium. Without working cell phones and under conditions of curfew, this was a near impossible task...''
Los Angeles police Chief Michel Moore told the Police Commission Tuesday morning that 2,700 people were arrested since the protests began last week, the vast majority of them for violating curfew. About 10% of the arrests were for looting. He also said more than 60 LAPD vehicles had been damaged during protests, including some that were burned.