LOS ANGELES -- A special police plan for possible disturbances after the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA title directed officers to maintain order quickly, protect property and arrest celebrants who broke the law.
But a review of the Laker Victory Operations Plan, obtained by The Associated Press, shows police did not closely follow the guidelines.
Officers were supposed to disperse groups rapidly to ''demonstrate the department's unwavering determination to restore order,'' according to the plan.
After the Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, revelers set bonfires, looted businesses and destroyed several vehicles, including two police cars, during a rampage that extended several blocks from the Staples Center.
Several business owners and the police union, which has been at odds with police Chief Bernard C. Parks since he took over in August 1997, criticized the police response. Television news footage showed unruly fans attacking a sport utility vehicle and a news van outside the arena as dozens of officers in riot gear looked on.
Police union President Ted Hunt on Friday called for an independent investigation and said rank-and-file officers were embarrassed by the response. He said officers did not receive orders to move against the crowd until after vandals had caused extensive damage.
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