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67 arrests as fans, some rowdy, cheer Lakers win in LA

Los Angeles Lakers fans celebrate outside of Staples Center, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in Los Angeles, after the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in Game 6 of basketball's NBA Finals to win the championship. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sixty-seven people were arrested during a downtown celebration after the Los Angeles Lakers won their 17th National Basketball Association championship, police said Monday.

As of 1:30 a.m., there were 61 arrests for failure to disperse, five for looting and one for vandalism, said Officer Drake Madison, a Police Department spokesman.

One officer suffered a hand injury, Madison said.

The Lakers beat the Miami Heat 106-93 Sunday night in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, to win the NBA Finals in six games.

The sounds of fireworks immediately reverberated across Los Angeles and fans headed to Staples Center, the Lakers’ home court, to celebrate — despite admonitions to stay away.

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Celebrations were mostly peaceful but some rocks and bottles were thrown at officers, KABC-TV reported. Videos posted online also showed cars doing “donuts” and fireworks being set off in the street — which is illegal without a permit, KCAL-TV reported. Witnesses told the Los Angeles Times that officers fired “beanbag rounds” at one point, which sent some people running.

A few officers on horseback worked to push the crowd away from Staples Center. Later in the night, the large gathering fractured into several groups.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti had discouraged public gatherings to celebrate the win, instead urging fans to cheer on the team from home.

“As we cheer our @Lakers’ 17th championship, please remember it’s still not safe to gather in groups,” the mayor tweeted, in reference to the coronavirus pandemic.

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