Written by AARON CASTREJON
REGION - The County DA announced Wednesday that 61 people were charged with a variety of crimes committed during the recent George Floyd protests in the Los Angeles area.
The majority of charges filed over the past two days have been for looting, according to Greg Risling, assistant media chief with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Other charges include assault and/or battery upon a peace officer, robbery, burglary, possession of a destructive device, identity theft and receiving stolen property.
Some cases have yet to be presented after some suspects were issued citations and released by various law enforcement agencies, Risling said.
Additional cases are expected to be presented for filing consideration.
Some cases qualified for the COVID-19 “zero-bail policy” established by the Judicial Council of California, Risling said, while others may require bail due to the crimes being committed during a declared emergency.
In downtown Los Angeles, 11 people were charged with felonies, including looting, robbery and assault upon a peace officer, Risling said.
Seventeen people were charged at the Airport Branch Court, which covers some of the western portions of Los Angeles County, including Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. The charges include felony looting, burglary and identity theft as well as misdemeanor looting and burglary, Risling said.
Fifteen people were charged with felony looting, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s vehicle or attempted looting in Compton, while three people were charged with felony looting in Long Beach, Risling said.
In Van Nuys, five people were charged with felony looting. Six people were charged with felony looting or attempted looting in Norwalk and three people were charged with attempted looting in Torrance, Risling said.
A 15-year-old youth has been charged in juvenile court with assault upon a peace officer, Risling said.
In total, 11 cases were declined due to insufficient evidence, 19 referred back to law enforcement agencies for further investigation and 31 were referred to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for misdemeanor filing consideration, Risling said.
Felony looting carries a possible maximum sentence of three years in county jail.
“I support the peaceful organized protests that already have brought needed attention to racial inequality throughout our society, including in the criminal justice system,” District Attorney Lacey said. “I also have a constitutional and ethical duty to protect the public and prosecute people who loot and vandalize our community.”