An abortion rights protest in downtown Los Angeles escalated into a clash with law enforcement after officers were called to disperse the crowds, resulting in the injury of at least one officer on Tuesday night.
Photos and videos online showed officers mostly monitoring the crowd, which grew from a peaceful gathering of about 30 people outside the federal courthouse building to over 250 people flooding the streets and blocking traffic. But, then some protesters began throwing objects at the officers.
LA police issued a citywide tactical alert during the heat of the clash.
“We attempted to communicate, clear, and provide dispersal order to the group,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said, but then the “crowd began to throw rocks and bottles at officers.”
Moore also reported at least one officer has been injured.
A few protestors are tapping on the hoods of police cars as they attempt to clear the intersection. pic.twitter.com/40uCwwvgsD
— Andrew J. Campa (@campadrenews) May 4, 2022
Some videos showed the officers pushing back on protesters.
Demonstrators confront police officers near Pershing Square after protesting outside of the U.S. Courthouse in response to leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Protests have been reported in major cities across the country, seemingly following the lead of protesters in Washington, D.C., who gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court building Monday evening after the draft opinion suggesting the court could overturn Roe v. Wade was initially leaked to the public.
We are facilitating a group of 250 walking from federal building (broadway/1st)to Pershing square. Route will be sb broadway to e/b 5th street to Pershing square. Motors and central units facilitating. Expect traffic delays. pic.twitter.com/I65jYtBe3G
— Chief Michel Moore (@LAPDChiefMoore) May 4, 2022
In LA, people in the crowd could be heard chanting things like, “No more shame, no more silence. Forced motherhood is fascist violence.”
Pro-abortion demonstrators taking to the streets despite the fact California officials have already committed to codifying abortion rights at the state level.
A police officer is surrounded by a group of demonstrators near Pershing Square following a protest outside of the U.S. Courthouse in response to leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom released a statement calling the potential decision an “appalling attack on the rights of women.”
“This draft opinion is an appalling attack on the rights of women across this country and if it stands, it will destroy lives and put countless women in danger,” he said Monday. “It will be the end of fundamental constitutional rights that American women have had for nearly 50 years.”
Pro-life and pro-choice demonstrators during a protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Court “does not value the rights of women,” Newsom added, vowing to protect abortion rights for California citizens.
“We have a Supreme Court that does not value the rights of women, and a political minority that will stop at nothing to take those rights away,” he said. “This won’t stop with choice and the right to privacy. They are undermining progress, and erasing the civil protections and rights so many have fought for over the last half-century.”
“We have to wake up. We have to fight like hell. We will not be silenced,” Newsom said.
“We can’t trust SCOTUS to protect the right to abortion, so we’ll do it ourselves,” he later tweeted. “Women will remain protected here.”
NEW: We are proposing an amendment to enshrine the right to choose in the California constitution.We can’t trust SCOTUS to protect the right to abortion, so we’ll do it ourselves.Women will remain protected here. https://t.co/WTUpfymLS0
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) May 3, 2022
The Supreme Court has yet to confirm or deny the validity of the draft.
Fox News’ Tyler O’Neil and Lorraine Taylor contributed to this report.