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Officer injured after protest against proposed rent hikes in Boyle Heights turns into brawl

A march against a proposed rent increase in Boyle Heights resulted in scuffle, leaving at least one LAPD officer injured. 

The march started at 10 a.m. Sunday at Hollenbeck Park and drew large crowds, consisting of around 500 tenants who are opposed to the rent hikes. 

As the crowd approached the area near Councilman Kevin de León's office, at around 11:15 a.m., the crowd grew unruly, prompting law enforcement to respond, and an "officer help call" shortly followed. 

"The crowd dog piled on all of these officers," said KNX Reporter Emily Valdez, while speaking to KCAL News. She says one of the protestors pushed an officer, starting the fracas. "It was really scary to be honest, they were so vastly outnumbered, they didn't have any of their protective gear on and there was no backup here."

The LAPD says one officer has been injured. The extent of the officer's injuries was not immediately made known. The officer was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.  

In March of 2023, the Housing Department recommended and City Council approved the end of the eviction moratorium and rent freeze protections. The Housing Department has since recommended a nine-percent rent increase for tenants. 

The Los Angeles Tenants Union statement following the brief melee. 

"Tenants were holding a peaceful march outside of Boyle Heights City Hall. They were presenting testimonies and demands for the city about the housing departments proposed rent increase and the record number of evictions," the statement said. "As a speaker was talking, without warning, armed policemen rushed the crowd from behind. Hundreds of families, elderly people, and young children were present. As a result of their attack, at least three tenants were rushed to the emergency room."

One of those people is allegedly being evaluated for a concussion, the unions said. Dozens of others are said to have been hit and prodded with batons. 

"This is the third attack this week where police have attacked tenants demanding their rights," the statement said. "This is the result of police aggression and the city's inaction to respond to the crisis that faces hundreds of thousands of tenants."

LATU says that they will evaluate and discuss the attacks to determine the protestors rights to assess damages. 

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