Jackie Robinson stadium in LA used as 'field jail' in protests

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2,700 people have been arrested in Los Angeles since protests erupted over the death of George Floyd

Los Angeles (AFP) - A stadium named after Major League Baseball's first black player was used by Los Angeles police to detain anti-racism protestors, triggering criticism Wednesday from the university that runs the venue.

University of California Los Angeles said it was "troubled by the accounts that Jackie Robinson Stadium parking lot was used as a 'field jail' to process protestors."

"This was not done with UCLA's knowledge or permission," it said in a statement. 

"LAPD has vacated the property and we informed them that future use as an arrest processing center will not be granted by UCLA."

An open letter from a group of the university's professors noted that protesters were held at a stadium "named after Jackie Robinson, an icon of the long and unfinished struggle for Black freedom."

UCLA had earlier granted permission for the stadium to be used as a coronavirus testing site. It leases the stadium from the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

More than 2,700 people had been arrested in Los Angeles demonstrations against police racism before Tuesday night, when hundreds more defied the city's curfew.

"UCLA students were arrested for engaging in the constitutionally protected right to peacefully protest against racial injustice, which is pervasive in American policing," the professors wrote.

The LAPD did not immediately reply to AFP request for comment.

Jackie Robinson was a Negro League star for the Kansas City Monarchs before making his barrier-breaking debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.

Robinson's jersey number 42 was officially retired for all teams in 1997.