LA Criminal Court Building

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said today that 61 people -- including a 15-year-old -- have been charged with crimes committed during civil unrest over the past several days.

A majority of the charges stem from alleged looting, while other charges involve alleged assault/and or battery on a peace officer, robbery, burglary, possession of a destructive device, identity theft and receiving stolen property, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Felony looting carries a potential maximum three-year county jail sentence, and some of the looting cases may require that bail be posted since a state of emergency was declared in Los Angeles County, officials said.

The charges filed reflect only a fraction of the hundreds of people who have been arrested -- and most them released -- so far in L.A. County during the civil unrest and episodes of looting and vandalism. 

Additional potential cases are expected to be presented by various law enforcement agencies for filing consideration this week, with other potential cases not yet turned over to the District Attorney's Office because some people who were arrested over the past several days were cited and released.

"I support the peaceful organized protests that already have brought needed attention to racial inequality throughout our society, including in the criminal justice system," the county's top prosecutor said in a written statement. "I also have a constitutional and ethical duty to protect the public and prosecute people who loot and vandalize our community."

Lacey has been a frequent target of protesters who say she has been insufficiently aggressive in prosecuting police for alleged misconduct, a charge she denies. Activists from Black Lives Matter staged another in a series of protests outside Lacey's office today

The charges filed include cases against:

• 17 people charged at the Airport Courthouse -- which covers some of the western portions of Los Angeles County, including Santa Monica and Beverly Hills -- with crimes including felony looting, burglary and identity theft, along with misdemeanor looting and burglary;

• 15 people charged with felony looting, fleeing a pursuing peace officer's vehicle or attempted looting in Compton;

 11 people charged in downtown Los Angeles with felonies, including looting, robbery and assault on a peace officer;

 Six people charged with felony looting or attempted looting in Norwalk;

 Five people charged with felony looting in Van Nuys;

 Three people charged with felony looting in Long Beach;

 Three people charged with attempted looting in Torrance;

 A 15-year-old youth charged in juvenile court with assault on a peace officer.

Prosecutors said they referred 31 potential cases to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office for consideration of misdemeanor charges.

Eleven other potential cases were declined due to insufficient evidence, with 19 others referred back to law enforcement agencies for further investigation.

The District Attorney's Office prosecutes all felony cases in the county and misdemeanors that occur in unincorporated areas of the county and in most cities.

The L.A. Times reports that nearly 3,000 have been arrested and already released by law enforcement authorities across Southern California.


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