WESTWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón says his hate crime unit is monitoring acts of vandalism that took place in Westwood.
Police say spray-painted mesages popped up on businesses and other buildings on Wilshire Boulevard on Friday - the same day a large group gathered to protest President Joe Biden's visit to Southern California for a fundraiser.
Biden was greeted by celebrities, several California elected officials and a gaggle of "Free Gaza" protesters estimated at 1,000-strong outside the fundraiser in the Holmby Hills area, where Biden spoke for more than 10 minutes.
The protesters had gathered Friday afternoon at nearby Holmby Park to condemn U.S. funding of Israeli military strikes in Gaza with one holding a sign, "No votes for mass murderer."
"At one point an unlawful assembly and dispersal order was issued due to the protesters' actions including throwing objects at officers and passing vehicles," Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said in a statement.
"The crowd slowly dispersed and no arrests were made, no use of force and no officers were injured."
Later, protesters tagged several Westwood businesses and other buildings along the Wilshire Boulevard corridor including Westwood United Methodist Church, with much of the vandalism documented on social media. The spray-painted messages were also seen on a local Starbucks.
Over the weekend, the LAPD said the graffiti was being removed that the department was investigating.
"The LAPD is actively investigating these crimes. While the LAPD fully supports 1st Amendment rights for peaceful demonstrations, we will not tolerate violence or vandalism of any kind."
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón posted a statement on Facebook Sunday declaring, "The vandalism that occurred in the #Westwood area yesterday is yet another harmful act that is causing fear and anger for so many in our community, myself included."
"While everyone has the right to peacefully demonstrate and protest, no one has the right to damage property during the process," Gascón said. "The District Attorney's Office Hate Crimes Unit is in touch with LAPD and will continue to monitor this incident and proactively work with LAPD and community stakeholders to address future incidents during this difficult time."
City News Service contributed to this report.