By Akbar Mammadov
A group of Azerbaijanis have come under attack of Armenian nationalists during a protest held outside of the building of the Consulate General of Azerbaijan on 21 July, the consulate reported in its Facebook page today.
Seven Azerbaijanis, including a woman, have been injured during the attack and four of them have been hospitalized. In addition, a police officer of Los-Angeles Police Department trying to protect the Azerbaijani woman from Armenian attackers has received head injury.
The Azerbaijanis were attacked by Armenian radicals in Los Angeles who surrounded the building of the Consulate General of Azerbaijan and held a protest action against Azerbaijan with aggressive and provocative slogans.
Members of the Azerbaijani community in California carried out a peaceful rival rally against a large number of Armenians. The courage of the Azerbaijanis who met face to face with a large number of Armenians outraged Armenian Dashank radicals who in turn violently attacked Azerbaijanis. Azerbaijan’s Consulate General reported that Armenians attacked Azerbaijanis and also sought to drive their cars on the peaceful protesters.
The Azerbaijani community members were carrying posters exposing Armenia's aggression and policy of ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijan, reflecting the displacement of about 1 million peaceful Azerbaijanis from their native lands as a result of the occupation. "Karabakh is Azerbaijan!", "Stop the Armenian aggression!", "Justice for Khojaly", "Armenia is starting a war against Azerbaijan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shame on you!” were some of the slogans.
All staff members of the Consulate General, including the Consul General, were in constant contact with the Azerbaijani community members on the day of the demonstration at the Consulate General's office. The consulate said that to ensure the safety of Azerbaijani citizens, Los Angeles Police officers lined up around them.
Seeing the growing aggression of the Armenians, the Consulate General immediately contacted the bus companies and began the process of evacuation of Azerbaijanis from the area. However, 15 minutes later, Los Angeles police informed members of the Azerbaijani community that they were concerned about the safety of the protesters, and started escorting Azerbaijanis away, accompanied by police.
Immediately after the incident, the Consul General contacted Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore, informing him of the seriousness of the situation and expressing his serious criticism of the police's inability to prevent the Armenian violence.
Thus, it was noted that the Los Angeles Police was aware of the protest by the Azerbaijani community in advance and assured the Consulate General that the security of the protesters would be fully ensured.
Moore apologized to the Consul General for the police forces’ failure to take relevant measures to prevent the violence, noting that the issue will be seriously investigated and a special investigation team will be set up.
“An investigation team has been set up and an investigation is underway,” the consulate said.
Consul General Nasimi Agayev has visited injured Azerbaijanis in the hospital and said that measures are being taken to bring Armenian criminals to justice.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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