The Los Angeles Police Department is being praised for how it has struck a balance in its response to George Zimmerman protests. The balance has allowed for protests to continue in a peaceful manner, but the police have responded more forcefully when the protests turn violent or become an excuse for vandalism.

The balance, which comes after years of trial and error for the LAPD, allowed peaceful protesters to block of several streets downtown and even a major freeway. But when a few protesters began vandalizing, the police swept in and made arrests. When peace was restored to the protest, the police fell back again. Such tactics have allowed, as Mayor Garcetti put it, the “space and place” for people to voice their opinions.

At one protest, the police monitoring the protests passed out papers to demonstrators that if they were unruly, that the police would shut down the demonstration. Chief Charlie Beck even came out of police headquarters to meet with some protest organizers.

Read the full article at the Los Angeles Times.