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Special Event

Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan Decries Violence Following Lakers Championship Victory

Aired June 20, 2000 - 1:58 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: The Los Angeles major is responding to last night's violence in his city:

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

MAYOR RICHARD RIORDAN, LOS ANGELES: ... as we saw our Lakers win the championship after a hard-fought competition with the Pacers. These Lakers fans, millions who watched on television and thousands who were at Staples, they were the winners who took pride in their team and in their city. But it was with shame and anger that we saw not Lakers fans, but a few hundred hoodlums attempting to spoil our celebration.

These are not fans. They are losers who only know how to trash our city. They're vandals. We are not going to let a few hundred vandals ruin a glorious celebration for millions of Angelinos.

Plans are moving forward rapidly to have a great parade tomorrow so that Los Angeles can congratulate our Lakers on their incredible season and their championship trophy.

Last night and this morning, I was briefed by the LAPD and the fire department; specifically, this morning by Chiefs Bernard Parks, Bill Bemotry (ph) Frankie Banergy (ph), head of our Department of Transportation.

Last night there were 11 arrests; three were felony. Four police officers had minor injuries. There were no reports of major injuries by anyone. Two patrol cars were destroyed, two television vans were severely damaged or destroyed; 23 fire department calls for service were responded to to put out auto fires, rubbish fires and other activities.

We need to keep last night's vandalism in perspective. Unlike other cities where violence spread city-wide after a major sporting event, this did not happen in Los Angeles: 30,000 people entered Staples or the area around Staples, and the vast, vast majority of them -- in fact, everyone in the building -- departed peacefully and safely. The violence and the vandalism was confined to a small area.

Last night, the Los Angeles Police Department response was strategic and measured. Their discipline restraint minimized any possible escalation of violence. Still, there's much to be learned from last night's incident so we can continue to do a better and better job of keeping our city safer. We need to learn the lessons of last night, also, so that we will have an outstanding and safe Democratic National Convention in August.

I have directed the police chief, fire chief, the head of the Department of Transportation, to prepare an after-action report to assess what tactics worked and make recommendations for improvements so that we can do an outstanding jobs for Angelinos and visitors alike.

I have with me Police Chief...

WATERS: That's Mayor Richard Riordan responding. That's the latest on the violence following Lakers victory at Staples Center last night. You heard the mayor say there is "shame and anger" at the "hoodlums" that were "attempting to spoil our celebration." Police cars were destroyed, also news vans. There were some minor injuries, but there have been a number of arrests and felony charges leveled against some of the people that the major calls "hoodlums." He says there's much to be learned.

And there was much talk earlier this morning, we understand from our Los Angeles reporters up in the mayors office, about what was learned from last night's demonstrations that would help to prevent further demonstrations this August when the Democrats meet for their convention in Los Angeles.

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