An incident that occurred on Dec. 15 in Little Tokyo shortly after the Los Angeles Department of Sanitation conducted its weekly cleaning of Aiso Street outside of Toriumi Plaza is the subject of an ongoing LAPD investigation after two Little Tokyo Business Improvement District (BID) officers were injured.
The safety officers allege they were assaulted by several members of the group known as J-Town Action and Solidarity during a confrontation after the cleaning of the plaza. The safety officers reportedly suffered injuries including a possible concussion, a sprained wrist, and neck and back injuries.
Evidence, including video and photos of the incident, have been forwarded to the LAPD for their investigation. LAPD is also said to be reviewing its own footage of the confrontation.
Established in 2004 by an L.A. City Council ordinance, the Little Tokyo BID is one of 48 throughout the city that provide supplemental services such as street cleanup and maintenance, safety ambassadors, community benefit programs, and marketing.
The Little Tokyo Business Association, which manages the BID and is cooperating with the investigation, issued the following statement:
“The Little Tokyo Business Association strongly condemns the unprovoked violent physical and verbal attacks on two Little Tokyo Business Improvement District safety officers on Dec. 15, 2022 executed by members of the group known as J-Town Action and Solidarity, resulting in harm and injuries to the two LTBID safety officers.
“There is no place for such violence in Little Tokyo, a 138-year-old environmental justice community that has survived numerous life-altering challenges, including exclusion laws, mass removal of all persons of Japanese ancestry, and, more recently, anti-Asian hate.
“While we support the concept of free speech, which allows JAS members and others to express their opinions peacefully, we stand firmly in opposition to lies, hypocrisy, racism, vandalism, and violence wherever and whenever it occurs. We call upon the Los Angeles Police Department and City Attorney’s Office to investigate the events leading up to and including the above-mentioned Dec. 15 incident and seek a halt to the vandalism and destruction of Little Tokyo property as well as all activities designed to insult or physically harm another human being.”