Occupy LA Cost City $2.35M
Protesters blame costs on excessive use of cops
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Dec 24, 2011 10:37 AM CST
A protester shouts in front of police officers during an Occupy LA rally in Los Angeles last month.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

(Newser) – Occupy LA protesters cost the city a cool $2.35 million—at least—largely in police overtime. The price tag doesn't include the costs of repairs to the lawn during the two-month encampment and the fountain outside City Hall. Time-and-a half overtime for the regular force and General Services cops who patrol parks cost the city a total of just over $1.5 million. As much as $1.7 million of the total costs will be added to the city's expected $72 million debt, reports the Los Angeles Times. The rest will be covered by standard operating costs. By comparison, the 2009 Michael Jackson single-day memorial service at the Staples Center cost the city $3.2 million.

The city attorney is considering suing protesters to recover the cost of damages caused by demonstrators outside City Hall. An Occupy LA spokesman called the city's figures for the protest "outrageous," and accused LA of making protesters scapegoats for the excessive use and cost of the police. "This was a peaceful movement," said Carlos Marroquin. "They're the ones who decided to use that amount of police." Some 1,400 officers were mobilized to keep watch on protesters.