The Los Angeles Police Department cracked down on a riot in the city’s Koreatown on Saturday after declaring the gathering of “transgender rights” activists an unlawful assembly. According to Los Angeles police Detective Megan Aguila, demonstrators had been throwing smoke bombs and projectiles at the LAPD officers, prompting the order to disperse, NBC 4 reported.
Video of the demonstrations, which began around 11 a.m. near Wilshire and Rampart boulevards near the Wi Spa, show police firing non-lethal rounds and striking rioters with their batons. Demonstrators were given time to leave the area prior to the use of non-lethal force, NBC 4 reported.
Andy Ngo, an editor-at-large for The Post Millenial and author of “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy,” described some of the demonstrators as “antifa,” though the claim could not be independently verified. NBC 4 also reported members of SoCal Antifa have been involved in other recent demonstrations around Wi Spa.
“A person on the antifa side was hit with an impact munition from police at the violent WiSpa protest in Los Angeles,” Ngo wrote on Twitter. Ngo shared video of the scene in which demonstrators could be heard yelling “Don’t shoot” as LAPD officers aimed crowd-control munitions at the crowd.
One of the officers is seen firing his weapon at a demonstrator who was waving his or her arms, striking the demonstrator in the stomach and causing them to fall to the ground.
The protests were spurred by a recent viral video in which a woman complained to employees at Wi Spa in Los Angeles that a biological male, who identifies as a woman, exposed his male genitalia in front of women and children at the spa.
“Let me be clear with you: it’s ok for a man to go into the women’s section, show his penis around women, young little girls underage, your spa, Wi Spa, condoned that. Is that what you’re saying?” the woman asks in the video.
The viral video prompted protests of the spa, as well as counter-protests in support of “transgender rights.”
One Twitter user shared footage of demonstrators clashing with police, who then strike them with their batons. “LAPD softens a few ANTIFA up. This is the energy we need from law enforcement from here on out. Get the lawlessness in check.”
Another Twitter user posted a video of police carrying a demonstrator as protesters off-camera yell, “You’re on the right side of history.”
“Antifa protestor resisting arrest and then unmasked following violent protests at Wi Spa on Saturday, July 17,” the user wrote on Twitter. “According to LAPD 38 were arrested”
According to NBC 4, dozens were arrested after police declared the demonstrations to be an unlawful assembly.