Police cleared out the nation's largest remaining Occupy camps by early Wednesday in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, arresting more than 250 and avoiding the more violent confrontations in New York, Oakland, and Portland.
After several days of negotiating with Occupy members, 1,400 Los Angeles Police officers encircled the City Hall encampment at about 10 p.m. Tuesday. They converged on the camp shortly after midnight. Officers arrested more than 200 protesters, as they cleared the park encampment adjacent to City Hall.
Many occupiers left without sparking violent encounters with police; at least one video clip surfaced Wednesday showing the rough arrest of a man seen shouting at officers in a combative posture, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Paul Weber, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, defended police tactics.
"It is unfortunate that our society has come to the place where a lawful command from an officer goes ignored," Weber said in a statement. "Oftentimes, as was the case at the Occupy L.A. camp, this sets in motion a regrettable series of events. As the League has maintained, when a dangerous individual refuses police orders to end the threat they are posing to the safety of officers and the public, they subject themselves to the consequences of their actions."
In Philadelphia, police officers rousted the City Hall encampment, sending occupiers scattering. Officers arrested 52 people, mostly in a 5 a.m. face off on North 15th Street behind the Inquirer and School District buildings, reports the Inquirer.