Within minutes of Echo Park Lake reopening Wednesday, much of what had come to define the greenspace over the last year had returned.
Kids giggled as they flew down the slide. Couples laughed as they waited in line for the swan boats. Friends convened to drink beer and grill. Homeless Angelenos came to take stock of the place where they used to pitch a tent, and protesters yelled at City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell as he made a brief appearance to celebrate the lake’s opening before returning to his district office a block away.
What hadn’t returned were tents, which had sprung up in the park over the last year and were removed after a forceful police crackdown. The tents won’t be coming back anytime soon, city officials said.
“At 10:30 [every] evening we’ll be doing a sweep,” Chief Park Ranger Joe Losorelli said. “Anybody that’s in the park will be removed from the park, either by their own volition, or if when we ask them to leave and they don’t, they’ll be subject to arrest and or citation.”
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