KTLA reported that a man possessing a “makeshift flamethrower” allegedly attacked a police officer during a Friday night abortion rights protest in downtown Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Police Department stated that 30-year-old Michael Ortiz, who was arrested and now faces attempted murder charges, attacked an officer with a torch, sending the officer to the hospital with burn injuries.
Ortiz, the LAPD said, was booked in jail and now awaits charges for the attempted murder of a police officer. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department inmate roster, he remains in custody and has a bail of $1 million.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore expressed that, while he supports protesters exercising their First Amendment rights, the department will “vigorously pursue prosecution” for those who commit crimes.
“I condemn the violence against officers that occurred last night and into today. Individuals participating in such criminal activity are not exercising their First Amendment rights in protest of the Supreme Court decision, rather, they are acting as criminals,” Moore declared in a news release.