One of the most highly scrutinized events of the year concluded over the weekend and as you might expect police cracked down hard.
It has been reported by the LA Times that 300 people were arrested over the course of the weekend at the HARD Day of the Dead festival. After the deaths of two girls HARD's summer festival in August, LA county officials were questioning whether they should allow the 2 day Halloween event to take place. This prompted organizers to issue new regulations for HARD Day of the Dead including an age limit of 21+ as well as a 40,000 attendance cap. Now with news of the 300 arrested it seems police presence was at an all-time high.
The police report states that 148 people were arrested on Saturday with another 162 arrested on Sunday. The charges are mainly for drug possession, public intoxication or being under the influence of a controlled substance. The report went on to state that 100 people were arrested for having false identification which seems to be sparked by the 21+ age limit.
With all eyes on this festival, organizers took the extra step in order to ensure the safety of it's patrons. The precautions included three on-site emergency room physicians with dozens of medical staff at two locations. There were also 184 police officers on site with 24 free water stations.
Earlier last week the festival stated that there would be a media black-out with no media passes granted to reporters. A day later they revised this policy and granted a selected amount of media credentials. So far, aside from the arrests, it looks like the festival was a success, but we hope we are not speaking too soon. We'll have more information as it surfaces.
[via LA Times]