Breaking News: Police Fire Rubber Bullets and Tear Gas into Peaceful LA Crowd

BLOGGED BY Brad Friedman / The BradBlog.com ON 5/1/2007 11:55PM 

BREAKING: Police Fire Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas into Crowd at Los Angeles Immigration Rally

LAPD Chief Claims ‘Elements of the Crowd’ Threw Projectiles at Police in Riot Gear, News Reports Say the Rally Had Been Peaceful. National Coordinators Call for Independent Investigation, Further Information from those at McArthur Park Rally…

Officers in riot gear from the Los Angeles Police Department fired rubber bullets and used tear gas to disperse a “crowd of hundreds” gathered at a local park for a previously peaceful May Day immigration rally tonight.

National rally coordinators are protesting the action and have sent us a statement via email asking citizens to call on LAPD Chief William Bratton and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to demand an independent investigation into the “May Day incident at McArthur Park”. They are also seeking information from anyone in the crowd at McArthur Park in Los Angeles during the incident. The statement, sent from Lee Sui Hin, National Coordinator from the National Immigrant Solidarity Network/Action LA Coalition, is posted in full at the end of this article.

Check out the video from FoxLA and decide for yourself whether or not roughing up the media was necessary.

Fox 11 has a very good first-hand video report, featuring their local reporter who had been covering the rally and said she heard no notice to disperse, as claimed by the police. Her crew was roughed up, as seen in the video.

Read the rest of Brad’s post on The Brad Blog here.

I wonder what our Libertarian friend Greenhut will have to say about this?

  7 comments for “Breaking News: Police Fire Rubber Bullets and Tear Gas into Peaceful LA Crowd

  1. Sergeant
    May 2, 2007 at 7:36 am

    Chris,

    Perhaps you could answer this question which has me stumped: is there a point in time when the throwing of rocks and bottles at police officers changes a “peaceful” rally into a “violent” rally and how many times is a police officer required to be struck with a rock or bottle before protective measures are allowed?

    Also, were you aware that the “media” has special access granted by law to them and in return they are responsible for their own protection and safety. In other words, if they are too close to the action – too bad for them. They should get out of the way or risk getting in the middle of it. Do you think for one minute that the media would have “dispersed” anyway? Of course not, they want to get the story.

    Third, perhaps Greenhut will editorialize for an civilian oversight panel in Los Angeles — oh wait, they have one. Maybe Greenhut will tell all of us how the civilian oversight panel allowed this situation to occur?

  2. May 2, 2007 at 8:48 am

    “Also, were you aware that the “media” has special access granted by law to them and in return they are responsible for their own protection and safety. In other words, if they are too close to the action – too bad for them. ”

    Hell, I was listening to KFI and even their reporters, pro-police to a fault, were a taken aback by the LAPD’s overreaction, which included grabbing TV cameras from cameraman and throwing them into the air.

    Those few dozen protesters causing the problem were goading the police, no doubt, but the LAPD in turn overreacted, hitting people who were trying to get out of the way and harassing journalists — journalists with cameras for major TV stations. This, it would seem, is unwise.

    This is still just a day old, but thus far what happened does not look good for the LAPD.

    DU

  3. May 2, 2007 at 8:49 am

    Agreed Sarge. How many bottles and rocks hurled at police does it take before the cops are allowed to disperse the crowd with force?

  4. May 2, 2007 at 9:13 am

    We’re lucky the SAPD did not pull the same stunt. They came to our downtown loaded for bear yesterday. The racists in our city went home disappointed when no immigrants were beat up…

  5. May 2, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Pay attention everybody because the Pigs up there in LA are just itchin’ to shoot someone.

    I smell another riot comin’, and the Mayor’s make-up might run a little, good heavens.

    LA Police Chief Bratton is the quintesential Racist’s – Racist, just like the NYPD, he’s Irish, and they hate everybody that aren’t Bright White.

    I predict that the Mayor’s car will get swallowed-up by a gigantic sinkhole,
    they’ll be sayin’ on the news, after he’s dead, he never saw it comin’.

    My name is Dave Harvey and my Anti-spam word was Civil Union.

    Have nice day everybody!

  6. May 2, 2007 at 11:52 am

    We’re lucky the SAPD did not pull the same stunt. They came to our downtown loaded for bear yesterday. The racists in our city went home disappointed when no immigrants were beat up…

    Luck had nothing to do with it, Art. Unlike you, I was actually there. The SAPD were very hands off. You had mounted police at a distance, and hardly any police in the plaza proper. They were obviously ready for trouble — as they should be since that’s their job — but they certainly weren’t looking for any.

    And the crowd, for its part, wasn’t looking for trouble either.

    Up at MacArthur Park, protesters provoked the police. No honest person is disputing that fact. After watching the raw and edited footage, I think some of those LAPD officers clearly overeacted regarding the media — but I saw other LAPD officers trying to get reporters out of the way in as courteous a fashion as possible under the circumstances. To condemn the entire LAPD over this is ridiculous.

    It always amazes me how, in these circumstances, the focus of outrage is always on law enforcement trying to keep order in an unruly atmosphere, instead of on the unruly elements who provoke the police by pelting them with rocks, bottles and various other missiles.

  7. Sergeant
    May 2, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Jubal,

    Exactly.

    Likely the biggest common denominator between the MacArthur Park rally and the Santa Ana rally was that the majority of the people at both places wanted to protest in peace.

    And, the biggest difference between the two rallys was the presence of instigators of the violence who were likely only at the MacArthur Park site and hence the trouble.

    My guess is that the LAPD will be able to show what groups and individuals in the crowd sparked the violence and it would not be a surprise to me if it is shown that there were “professional anarchists and agitators” present, as well as an assortment of crooks or gang-bangers who are not against joining in too.

    It is not unusual or unexpected to get these kinds of trouble-makers at events such as these and many times they are uninvited by the legitimate organizers as well.

    The violence probably caught the organizers of the rally by surprise and the non-violent protestors and the media got caught in the middle – which is too bad.

    But, getting one’s skull cracked open with full beer can or from a plastic bottle filled with sand isn’t any fun either.

    The reports and investigations by LAPD and the oversight commissions will tell all. We just need to wait and chill out until then.

    Cheers.

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