Demonstrators seeking to turn the former Rampart police station in Historic Filipinotown into a community center attracted the attention of police Friday night, according to nearby residents. Georgene Smith Goodin said police squad cars blocked traffic on Temple Street and Benton Way and ordered about 30 protestors to move their tents off the sidewalk near the station, which has been closed since the LAPD opened a new and larger Rampart Division Station on Sixth Street. Smith Goodin described the scene that she and her husband encountered:
While the street was blocked, the protesters took down their tents — they had been told they couldn’t have tents on the sidewalk. When we walked home, the police had blocked off Benton at the 101, so cars could not go south, and they had two other squad cars along Benton. It really seems like a lot for such a small demonstration.
KPCC said the demonstration was organized by the Los Angeles Human Right to Housing Collective, which organized a clean up around the station on Friday in honor of International Human Rights Day.
Lt. Wes Buhrmester with the Rampart Division said he had no details about the number of officers who were deployed on Friday night but he did speak to a representative of the collective. “The group advised they have no intent of civil disobedience or such, just want to bring the homeless and bank situation to light.”