Hundreds of Armenian radicals brutally attacked a handful of Azerbaijani-Americans near Azerbaijan’s Consulate General in Los Angeles on July 21, 2020, resulting in many injuries and hospitalizations, Trend reports citing the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in LA.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is currently investigating this violence against Azerbaijani-Americans as a hate crime.
“In order to divert the attention away from this hate crime, since yesterday the main organizers of the protest action – the Armenian National Committee of America and the Armenian Youth Federation – have been claiming on social media that Azerbaijanis came to the protest action armed with various weapons," said the consulate general.
"They also claim that the 'counter-protesters had the weapons from the very start. The police were informed. They confiscated the weapons, but handed them back to protesters while the protest was ongoing.' Thus, in their attempt to protect those, who committed violence against the Azerbaijani-American community, and avoid responsibility, they're trying to put the blame of all this on Azerbaijanis," said the message.
“As a result of the immediate investigation by the Consulate General of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani-American community, it has become clear that the alleged 'weapons' (a saw, a hammer, pliers etc.) were actually brought in by an Armenian radical who was driving his car around the Azerbaijani demonstrators, throwing those tools out towards them, in a clear attempt to cause a provocation,” the message said.
“We also reported this information, including the car’s license plate number, to the LAPD,” said the message.
Azerbaijan’s Consul General Nasimi Aghayev also sent an inquiry to the LAPD asking them to comment on the allegations against Azerbaijani-American counter-protestors.
In his response, Captain Randy Goddard, the Commanding Officer of LAPD, who was leading the police force at the July 21 protest action in front of the Consulate General, said that the Twitter postings with regards to the Azerbaijani-American counter protesters being armed with various weapons such as saw, a knife, a hammer and metal rods, have been reviewed.
"This simply is not true. LAPD did not observe any of the Azerbaijani-American protesters to have any weapons and NO weapons were seized by the LAPD from Azerbaijani-American protesters,” Goddard said.
“I am also very disappointed that would allege LAPD confiscated weapons but handed them back to protesters while the protest was ongoing. This is also not true,” said Goddard.
Following several days of intense armed clashes, after Armenia made a gross ceasefire violation and launched attacks in the direction of Azerbaijan's Tovuz district, Azerbaijanis living abroad started staging peaceful protests, calling to put an end to Armenia's aggressive occupation policy.
The rallies were met with harsh response from the Armenian diaspora members.
According to the statement of Azerbaijan's State Committee on Work with Diaspora, Azerbaijanis living abroad got injured as a result of provocations organized by radical representatives of Armenian diaspora.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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