The LAPD's not going to let someone use their vehicle as a weapon to mow down innocent people, even if it means creating a barricade of cop cars ... seriously.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... recent attacks in Charlottesville and France -- where people used their cars to kill -- has the LAPD employing the new strategy. We're told when demonstrations go down that could result in violence, the Department will send at least 12 units to block off the area to traffic, using cop cars to form a barricade. The mantra ... no cars near demonstrators.
The Dept. will also contact the organizations behind the demonstrations in advance, to set guidelines and boundaries. As one source put it, "Crowd management is better than crowd control."
Cops will monitor social media for warning signs of dangerous activity or potential conflicts that could arise at the gathering.
The plan is to always hope for the best ... but prepare for the worst.