Beck, Garcetti, Ridley-Thomas and Mack in Leimert Park last night. Bryan Frank photo.
Channel 2/9 duopoly photographer Bryan Frank was called back in to work the night shift last night when protests in the Crenshaw area looked to be escalating. He posted a series of photos and observations at his personal blog, BeFrank, where year in and year out Frank does a smash-up job showing the reality of working in TV news in Los Angeles. He was there late Monday night when new Mayor Eric Garcetti appeared in Leimert Park with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and police commissioner John Mack. The leaders urged peaceful protest, as they did again today at a press conference at Dorsey High School. Garcetti said he spent most of the day in the Crenshaw area talking to people and urging any who join protests tonight to "stay united in peace." Garcetti in the LA Times: "We are determined here to stand together as the community to say that ... in this City of Angels, we will take this moment and make something good of it."
As for Monday night, when 14 were arrested for refusing to disperse or causing mayhem around Crenshaw and Martin Luther King boulevards, Frank describes a fairly tense scene and says he regrets not being present when KCBS/KCAL reporter Dave Bryan and photographer Scott Torrens were mugged.
It felt dangerous. I tried not to stray too far from the van, but I still had a job to do and safety in my job is really kind of a relative term.
There was plenty to document with my video camera and I was lucky I had a some small opportunities to snap a still picture.
There was one protestor, he looked like a teen (didn't get a shot of him), who approached my van as if he was going to tag it or maybe do some damage to it.
I actually saw another teen wave him off.
I wonder if the second teen had a sense of right and wrong or if there was too many cops and witnesses around.
I'm thankful either way....
In the worst incident of the night, Dave Bryan and Photographer Scott Torrens were assaulted and Scott left the scene in an ambulance. To be honest, I'm suffering from some bits of survivor's guilt over not being there when it happened.
Not sure if it would have made any difference, I'm just thankful that nobody in the crowd decided to start shooting.
I'm likely going back to Leimert park today and I hope my luck holds out for another shift.
Separately, another duopoly staffer sends word that the station's crews will have plainclothes security with them for tonight's protests.
Photo from Leimert Park by Bryan Frank