Dozens of arrests after LAPD sent illegal assembly warning at Koreatown spa protests

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By KABC staff

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) – Dozens of people were arrested and weapons were found strewn on the ground in Koreatown where duels in protest against transgender rights outside a local spa prompted police on Saturday to send out a mass alert warning of a illegal gathering, with authorities sending a public safety alert to people in the area warning that those who did not disperse risked arrest.

The LAPD said in a tweet around 3:15 pm that “several dozen” people were arrested after failing to leave the area, and “many weapons” were found.

Police also said smoke bombs and projectiles were thrown at officers.

The alert sent to the cell phones of people in the area at the time stated that “the LAPD will arrest you if you do not leave the area immediately”.

The protests, similar to previous incidents outside the Wi Spa in the 2700 block of Wilshire Boulevard, have apparently been fueled by the spa’s policy, which accepts transgender guests.

A protest earlier this month was sparked by a viral video posted by an upset woman that someone who identified as a woman was allowed to undress in the women’s section of the spa.

Wi Spa defended its policy in a statement to Eyewitness News, which read in part: “Like many other metropolitan areas, Los Angeles contains a transgender population, some of whom enjoy visiting a spa. Wi Spa strives to meet the needs and safety of all of its customers and does not tolerate harassment or obscene conduct by its customers, regardless of their sex, gender or any other characteristic.

The spa added that it complies with California law, Section 51 (b) of the Civil Code, which states that “All persons under the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and regardless of their sex, race. , color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, health status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, main language or immigration status are entitled to full and equal amenities, benefits, facilities, privileges or services in all commercial establishments of any kind.

The spa also referred to Section 51 (e) (5) of the California Civil Code, which states: “’Gender’ also includes, but is not limited to, a person’s gender. “Gender” means sex and includes a person’s gender identity and gender expression. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s gender-related appearance and behavior, whether or not they are stereotyped as associated with the sex assigned to the person at birth. “

“For example, California law prohibits discrimination against transgender and gender nonconforming people in commercial establishments,” the spa statement said.

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