LAPD Unleashes on ‘Peaceful’ MacArthur Park Rally

No time to elaborate, however, I can direct you to my immediate reaction to last night’s events posted here.

Also, LA Weekly reporter Daniel Hernandez blogs in detail about the scene at his blog.

Listen to voices of reporters, observers, and organizers describe the melee here.

KPCC on the scene reports here.

Why did the police in riot gear allegedly not have badges visible? Why did they push the few derelict anarchists throwing “missiles” into the peaceful, all-ages crowd in the park instead of isolating them? How are they possibly trained to believe they can get away with intimidating the press for filming and reporting on the scene by firing rubber bullets indiscriminately?

photo by Sarah Hayes, used with permission.

One Reply to “LAPD Unleashes on ‘Peaceful’ MacArthur Park Rally”

  1. To Whom it May Concern,

    I am a Los Angeles police officer and, quite frankly, I am sickened by one-sided reporting of the events that occurred in MacArthur Park on May 1, 2007. People need to understand, media included, that when an order to disperse is given at what is deemed an unlawful assembly, EVERYONE has to leave.

    As Officers are being injured with rocks and bottles, a decision was made. Everyone needs to exit from MacArthur Park. The LAPD formed a skirmish line and began to walk forward to disperse the crowd. A wall of police officers walking towards you with helmets, shields, and batons means one thing. Get out of the way! We did what we are trained to do. Restore order. We formed a skirmish line and dispersed individuals who had not left the scene after being lawfully ordered to do so. Sometimes force has to be used. Sorry, but that’s how it is. The Officers should be commended for quickly dispersing the rowdy elements of the crowd and restoring order. For all of the whiners and complainers who love to scream about police brutality, I have a couple of examples.

    Does anyone remember April 29, 1992? A rowdy crowd refused to disperse on Florence and Normandie in South-Central Los Angeles. After being pelted with rocks and bottles, the LAPD was ordered to pull back and leave the area. What ensued was the LA Riots. This left over fifty people dead, thousands injured, and billions in damage. To this day people still question the initial police response to Florence and Normandie.

    How about the first championship the Lakers won while playing at the Staples Center in 2000? A rowdy crowd began “celebrating” outside of the Staples Center. This “celebrating” included throwing items and smashing windows. The LAPD stood by as the crowd began turning over and burning vehicles, including police cars, and vandalizing and looting nearby businesses. Complaints surfaced again about police inaction to the initial lawlessness.

    Chief Bratton needs to stop being a politician and start being a police chief. He needs to back up his Officers in public and stop lowering the morale of the troops. Chief Bratton says that the video he saw regarding MacArthur Park was “disturbing.” What I saw wasn’t disturbing. The Chief knows as well as I do what the LAPD is trained to do when dispersing crowds. Chief Bratton should stop second guessing split-second decisions that are made by Officers in the field dispersing a violent crowd. Now the Police Commission, City Council, and the Mayor’s Office want some sort of massive investigation. I wonder what the Mayor would have said if the LAPD did nothing and Villariagosa watched his city burn to the ground from his hotel room in San Salvador.

    The Head of the Police Commission, John Mack, stated that “This was not a pretty picture.” Well, sorry Mr. Mack, sometimes police work is not pretty. Mr. Mack, why don’t you grab a helmet and baton and lead us in dispersing a rowdy crowd in a picture perfect pretty fashion. No wonder the LAPD has trouble filling it’s ranks. Good Officers can make twice the money with half the headache at departments in surrounding cities.

    The police are the thin line between civilization and anarchy. They need to be respected and supported. Instead of criticizing the police, more attention should be shed on those within the group of protesters who chose to attack the police causing the need for crowd dispersal. I will be waiting for the investigation into that.

    Sincerely,
    Los Angeles Police Officer (Anonymous)

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