Ambush shooting in Los Angeles leads to rowdy protests; Reporter arrested after scuffle

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Sunday, September 13, 2020
Protesters show up to hospital after Compton deputy shooting
Several anti-law enforcement protesters showed up to a hospital where two deputies were being treated for gunshot wounds and a radio reporter was caught up in the chaos when deputies went to control the group.

LYNWOOD, Calif. -- A small crowd of demonstrators gathered outside a Los Angeles County hospital Saturday night where two sheriff's deputies are being treated after an ambush shooting in nearby Compton.

Video from outside St. Francis Medical Center shows authorities trying to clear the area. At one point, a few people were seen blocking the emergency exit and entrance to the hospital.

One witness said some of the demonstrators even tried to get inside the building.

"They were saying, 'Death to the police, kill the police,' and they were using all types of curse words and derogatory terms about the police, just provoking our police officers," said Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez with Churches in Action. "[It's] unacceptable behavior because the hospital should be a sanctuary. We should leave hospitals alone."

The sheriff's department tweeted that protesters were yelling, "We hope they die."

Shortly afterward, a local radio reporter was also caught up in the chaos and was tackled to the ground and arrested by deputies outside the hospital.

KPCC/LAist reporter Josie Huang had been covering the earlier press conference. The department tweeted that she ignored commands to stay back as deputies tried to arrest someone else and did not identify herself as a member of the press.

Huang was arrested for allegedly obstructing justice. Authorities say she didn't have proper credentials on her but KPCC/LAist have refuted that, saying that "she was clearly wearing press credentials around her neck."

Video taken by our sister station KABC-TV shows at least five deputies pinning her to the ground before placing her in a patrol car.

The news agency reports that Huang was taken to the women's jail at the Century Regional Detention Center and was later released without bail.

Hours after her arrest, Huang tweeted that she was headed home and said she would share more about the incident "after a little rest."

According to a KPCC newsroom executive, Huang had "visible bruises and scrapes, a sore shoulder and a blackened eye."

In a statement, KPCC said the obstruction charge against her should be dropped.

"Her arrest is the latest in a series of troubling interactions between our reporters and some local law enforcement officers. Journalists provide an essential service, providing fair, accurate and timely journalism and without them, our democracy is at risk."