LAPD Critical Mass takedown

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

WeHo Daily: Bike Riders Protest BP, LAPD Takes Some Down; LAPD Launches Investigation of Bike Ride Video Incident

KABC TV-7: LAPD investigating officer excessive force Video – Hollywood police brutality against cyclists

LAist: Caught on Tape: Police Harass Bike Riders During BP Protest Ride; LAPD Launches Investigation of Use of Force Against Cyclists Captured on Video

LA Figa: Caught on Tape: Hollywood LAPD Bash Bicyclists During BP Protest Ride

LA Independent: Video appears to show use of force by LAPD officers during protest ride in Hollywood

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

LA Curbed: Cyclists Storm Hollywood, But What’s Going on Here?

LA Times: LAPD to investigate scuffle between officers and BP protestors

Midnight Ridazz: CM Police Brutality

Legman LA: LAPD Confronts Anarcho Cyclists


  1. Brent says:

    More and more, I think a required piece of equipment in Los Angeles is a video camera. What with motorists acting horribly and the police not always perfect, it seems as prudent as brakes.

    • bikinginla says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been looking for a small reasonably aero cam that could attach to my helmet so it would record whatever I look at, without adding too much wind resistance.

      • Brent says:

        The CNN video that has been going around had one that would seem to fit the bill, but I can’t seem to figure out the brand name.

  2. angle says:

    Sgt. Krumer will be representing the LAPD at the upcoming Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting this Tuesday at 7 p.m. Please come and share your concerns about the incidents in Hollywood and show support for cyclists’ rights.

    LA City Council’s Bicycle Advisory Committee
    Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall
    6501 Fountain Ave. (between Cole & Wilcox)
    Los Angeles, CA 90028

  3. danceralamode says:

    I was there on Friday (in fact, just spoke to KCAL/CBS and Fox11). I have no problem with being ticketed for a red-light violation, etc. But how can you claim you’re stopping for red-light violations when they are arbitrarily attacking cyclists out of the group? And also, no protocol is followed for stopping cyclists. No command to stop, no flashing lights. Just brutal assaults by LAPD.

    • bikinginla says:

      Yeah, I have no problem with ticketing for red light violations or not having lights after dark. But what could possibly justify use of force for a minor traffic infraction? I understand that controlling 400 +/- cyclists is like herding cats, but police violence isn’t the answer.

  4. Donna says:

    Joe, Jack and Jeremy, (What’s up with all the J’s?)
    I work in LA and I don’t know how many CM rides and riders I’ve encountered but its been ALOT. Generally, the riders I’ve met have been ok, but when they get together, like many large groups, it’s easy for a “mob mentality” to take over. I never seen a CM ride where i did not see a huge number of dangerous, selfish, aggressive traffic violators that do not care at all about other people’s rights on the road. All you have to do is see a redlight, and then dozens to hundreds to maybe thousands of riders just keep on trucking through, not worried at all that their rude, illegal, dangerous, and selfish actions do absolutely NOTHING for there cause. I understand its a bit of a protest and an exercise of your “right” to ride. But your “right” is to have equal access to, (not the only access to), ride LEGALLY and SAFELY ALONG WITH other vehicle and pedestrian traffic, both of which you do not do. Even if motorists’s do not provide cyclists courtesy on the rode, just like you would tell a small child when they act immature, “two wrongs do not make a right”
    I will not support Los Angeles Critical Mass at all and will actively oppose any measure that benefits LACM until LACM and their “backbone” educate their OWN members with the right ways to further their own cause.
    Sorry but I’m a rider myself.

    • danceralamode says:

      Donna, many of us have mixed feelings about the LACM ride. But you need to remember, it’s a ride. When you talk about measures that would help bicyclists and other vulnerable road users, that has nothing to do with LACM, as LACM is a RIDE, not a political cause in and of itself. When you oppose measures that would make cycling in this city safer (and walking in this city safer) you oppose measures that would make traveling in this city safer for all road users, from motorists, to motorcyclists, to peds, to kids biking to school, and, yes, to adult cyclists as well. We all benefit from safer streets.

      I totally understand the things you dislike about Critical Mass; I’ve gone back and forth about in my own internal struggle about too. In the end, some months I choose to ride, some I don’t. I keep coming back to the fact that if we let “bad” cyclists over-run the ride, then there is no one to represent those of that are law-abiding, etc. If more riders like us showed up, we could set a good example for the kids, which I witness a lot of on Friday. Lots of adult riders cut kids off on shenanagins when they started it. When they yelled “f LAPD”, I scolded them for making situations worse and told them we need to work with LAPD, not make the relationship worse.

      I doubt I can change your mind, but the only way to change things is to step up and be a good example. Let me give you an example: studies have shown that if you, in your car, pass a cyclist giving them plenty of room, the cars behind you will follow your lead. Whereas if you “buzz” a cyclist, the cars behind you will do so as well. I don’t know if you’ve ridden a Critical Mass before, but if you want to try it out, and help us bring some order and peacefulness to it, I’d be happy to be your buddy on next month’s ride.

  5. […] Biking In L.A. Has the Official Police Statement […]

Discover more from BikinginLA

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading