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Downtown Crowds Calm, But Where Are the Brits?

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How to sum up the feeling around Staples Center in downtown this morning? Calm, celebratory, and controlled. By 6:15 am, there were already crowds already lined up around the blocked off perimeter around Staples, and vendors selling Michael Jackson memorabilia: t-shirts, photos and silver gloves. There were far less people looking for tickets than one may have imagined-- we didn’t see a single person looking for a ticket. Additionally, we have yet to spot a drunk Brit. Where are all those foreigners? But there was some grumbling. At the corner of Fig and Olympic, city gladfly Melrose Larry Green held up a sign, demanding to know why the city is paying for this event. “It should be open to the public, they should have closed all the streets.” LAPD Commander Andy Smith, who was standing next to Green, weighed in on the opening up of the streets. "If we had a million people here, and even if we had every cop show up, we probably couldn’t handle the crowds." Smith said there had been no arrests so far, and noted that the biggest problem so far was illegal vending (sellers need a permit, he said, and the LAPD has been cracking down on sellers). He also noted the large police force. "This is the biggest deployment I’ve seen in 20 years," he said. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Jackson body will be brought to Staples Center, which seems like it would cause some excitement of some sort in downtown.
· Michael Jackson's body will be taken to Staples Center [LA Times]