LAPD tried to have journalist prosecuted for failing to disperse after he posted viral video of officers, drawing scrutiny

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A reporter was charged in February with failing to disperse during October celebrations of the Dodgers World Series victory. Above, a Foot Locker downtown is repaired.(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

A reporter was charged in February with failing to disperse during October celebrations of the Dodgers World Series victory. Above, a Foot Locker downtown is repaired.(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

When the Dodgers won the World Series last October, celebrations around the stadium and downtown devolved into vandalism, theft and tense standoffs between revelers and police.

Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department declared the chaotic scenes unlawful and ordered fans to disperse. In the end, at least 18 people were arrested for an array of alleged offenses.

Lexis Olivier-Ray, a freelance journalist who covered the upheaval for the news website L.A. Taco, was not among those arrested. But last month he received a letter from the Los Angeles city attorney’s office notifying him that he faced a criminal charge for failing to follow an LAPD officer’s order to disperse during the tumult.

The decision by the LAPD to bring a case against Olivier-Ray to the city attorney’s office for prosecution has drawn scrutiny among free press advocates, who worry the journalist was singled out as retaliation for a viral video he recorded of heavy-handed tactics LAPD officers used against him and others as they tried to break up one of the crowds downtown.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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