Protesters numbering around 100 in Long Beach blocked a Metro Blue Line on Saturday before marching to the Compton Station, where two were arrested for allegedly throwing rocks and bottles.
The alleged rock throwing occurred around 3:00PM, where protesters had blocked the tracks in the Compton Avenue and Willowbrook Avenue area, causing Metro to suspend Blue Line service between Compton and Artesia and use buses to shuttle passengers requesting service. However, service to the normal Blue Line was quickly restored around 3:45PM, despite some lingering delays.
According to Megan Zabel of the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD), the protesters swelled to about 100 by the afternoon before they moved over to Compton, and “no issues or arrests were made in Long Beach.”
The protest was held in the wake of the officer-involved shooting of Noel Aguilar, who was killed in Long Beach on May 26, 2014 at 9:45AM by Compton Station sheriff’s deputies.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENTAttorneys representing the family of a Long Beach man who was fatally shot by L.A. Sheriff’s deputies in 2014 have released a video showing part of the incident, including the deputies treating to kill the man, restraining him and shooting him in the back. Read more: http://bit.ly/1Okd4w4
Posted by Long Beach Post on Monday, December 21, 2015
Cell phone footage of the shooting was released by the Aguilar family’s attorneys in December, showing two deputies on the ground with Aguilar, struggling. One officer goes for a gun on the ground, and one shot is heard. The other officer states he is wounded, apparently shot by the officer with the gun. A short time later, the wounded officer fires three shots into Aguilar’s back.
Aguilar died at the scene. Officers stated he had tried to grab their guns, after they chased him on his bicycle when they tried to stop him at 69th Way and Long Beach Boulevard.
Despite the two arrested for allegedly throwing rocks in Compton, protesters were peacefully expressing their First Amendment rights, according to Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the Sheriff’s Headquarters bureau.
The protest began at 1:00PM in Long Beach, at Eddie’s Liquors (299 East Artesia Boulevard), organized by activists from the groups We Charge Genocide L.A. and the Peoples Power Assemblies.
The shooting was investigated by the Sheriff’s Internal Affairs Bureau, eventually turning over its findings to a force review panel. The panel has yet to determine if the shooting was within department policy.
City News Service contributed to this report.