By now, you’ve probably heard about the heavy-handed police response to Friday’s Critical Mass, which included a protest of the BP oil spill in the gulf. From all descriptions, it was a peaceful, friendly ride until it got to the Hollywood area, where police reacted in force.
I’m on the run this weekend, but in the meantime, here’s the official police statement and links to the story so far.
Los Angeles Police Department Investigates Complaint of Use of Force Against Bicyclist
Los Angeles: Hollywood Area LAPD bike officers are involved in an incident that results in a complaint filed by representatives of the LA biking community.
On May 28, 2010 around 9:30 pm, LAPD Hollywood Area bike unit officers were patrolling the Entertainment District in Hollywood, at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard, just east of Highland Avenue, when a group of bicyclists numbering approximately 400 traveled eastbound on Hollywood Boulevard.
As part of enforcement efforts, LAPD Officers were watching for red light violations, and issuing citations. As Officers attempted to detain several bicyclists, a reported use of force was captured on video.
“In response to what we learned, we immediately launched a full-scale investigation to determine the facts surrounding the events,” said LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger. “The Departments Professional Standards Bureau has taken the lead in the inquiry and the Police Commission’s Inspector General has also been made fully aware of the matter.”
Since November 2009, the LAPD Office of Operations has worked closely with representatives of the biking community to improve relations, make the streets safer for bicyclists and discuss and identify issues involving bicyclists that are problematic for the motoring public.
“Our Department takes seriously its obligations and commitment to all members of the community. The Chief of Police and I pledged our strong support to work closely with the bike community and that promise has not wavered. It’s our hope that the relationship we’ve developed with the biking community over the past months will be strengthened even more as we continue to work together to find solutions to difficult circumstances such as these.”
LAPD Internal Affairs Group is investigating this reported use of force incident.
Cyclelicious: LAPD attacks CM cyclists
KABC TV-7: LAPD investigating officer excessive force
FromTheOld.com: Video – Hollywood police brutality against cyclists
Bikeside LA: Hollywood LAPD Assault/Harass Cyclists on LA Critical Mass; Los Angeles Police Protective League – Hollywood bike incident statement; Los Angeles Police Department Investigates Complaint of Use of Force Against Bicyclist
Midnight Ridazz: CM Police Brutality
Legman LA: LAPD Confronts Anarcho Cyclists