What a terrible move: the Los Angeles Police Department detained citizens, after being arrested while protesting the death of George Floyd, at a “field jail” at Jackie Robinson Ballpark until UCLA called for an end to the practice.
The ballpark is named for the trailblazing civil-rights pioneer, who broke MLB’s color line in 1947. Robinson was a multi-sport star at UCLA before a brief stint in the Negro Leagues, followed by his signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The use of Jackie Robinson Ballpark as a field jail ended after UCLA officials contacted the LAPD:
We’re troubled by accounts of Jackie Robinson stadium being used as a “field jail.” This was done without UCLA’s knowledge or permission. As lessee of the stadium, we informed local agencies that UCLA will NOT grant permission should there be a request like this in the future.
— UCLA (@UCLA) June 3, 2020
Those being held in Jackie Robinson Ballpark were detained for breaking curfew. The action from the university came after members of the UCLA faculty alerted the school to the use of the ballpark by the LAPD. The letter also addressed the conditions experienced by the protestors:
“Protesters were held on these buses at UCLA for fiveto six hours, without access to restrooms, food, water, information, or medical attention. Indeed, there was a medical emergency on one of the buses, one that received a response from the fire department several hours later. All protocols of social distancing were violated by the LA County Sheriff’s Department and LAPD with protesters deliberately crowded into buses and officers not following rules and recommendations established by the City, the County, and the CDC, including wearing masks. The cruel irony that this took place at a location used as a COVID-19 testing site is not lost on those arrested or on us. When protesters were taken off the buses, they were subject to processing in the parking lot of the stadium and then released, which meant that they were directed to find their way home late at night (between 1:30 am and 3:30 am) from the Jackie Robinson Stadium.”