Jasmyne Cannick of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles (pictured above) described Evan Bunch, 28 and Luz Maria Flores, 23 as “Black Lives Matter Los Angeles protesters (who) were arrested while trying to protest Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck at the kickoff of the Summer Night Lights Program.” (file photo)
Two protesters who scuffled with officers while trying to crash a meeting involving Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck and Mayor Eric Garcetti were in custody last Thursday. The incident occurred about 5 p.m. on June 24, at Mt. Carmel Recreation Center, 830 W. 70th St., where Beck and Garcetti were meeting privately with backers of the city’s Summer Night Lights youth program on its opening night, said LAPD Officer Jack Richter. Evan Bunch, 28, was booked on suspicion of felony battery on a peace officer, and Luz Maria Flores, 23, was booked on suspicion of felony lynching, according to the LAPD. Both were being held on $50,000 bail.
Bunch allegedly injured a police officer during the scuffle, and Flores allegedly tried to pull Bunch free from the custody of police, while trying to enter and disrupt the meeting, Richter said. The definition under the penal code section pertaining to lynching states: “The taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer is a lynching.” Jasmyne Cannick of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles described Bunch and Flores as “Black Lives Matter Los Angeles protesters (who) were arrested while trying to protest Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck at the kickoff of the Summer Night Lights Program.”
The youth program offers activities and meals during the evening hours at city parks in areas with high violent crime rates. It began at night on June 24 and will last through Aug. 28. Garcetti recently said the program “has transformed communities once plagued by gang violence by providing safety and job opportunities to our city’s young Angelenos during the critical summer months.”
The Summer Night Lights program also employs at-risk youth between 17-24 years old as part of a Youth Squad that helps conduct the summer park activities. Half of the program’s cost is paid by private donations from The Walt Disney Co. and the Weingart Foundation, among others.