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May 03, 2007

LAPD attacked journalists and protesters at immigration rallly

If this is what these cops are willing to do to journalists in public, imagine what they're doing to suspects at the police station:

One day after several reporters and camera operators were injured while covering an altercation at an immigrant rights rally in MacArthur Park, news organizations condemned the Los Angeles Police Department for its use of batons and riot guns against members of the media, and some said they were considering legal options.

"We are sorry for what happened to our employees and find it unacceptable that they would be abused in that way when they were doing their job," said Alfredo Richard, spokesman for the Spanish-language network Telemundo, of the anchor and the reporter who were hurt during the evening rally.

Other members of the media who were injured included four employees of KVEA-TV Channel 52, a KTTV-TV Channel 11 news reporter who suffered a minor shoulder injury, a camerawoman who has a broken wrist and a reporter for KPCC-FM (89.3) who was bruised by a police baton.

"I was dumbfounded," said the KPCC reporter, Patricia Nazario. "I've covered riots. I've covered chaos. I was never hit or struck or humiliated the way the LAPD violated me yesterday."

Nazario said she was walking away from riot police when she was hit in the back.

Wearing a press pass and holding a microphone, she turned around and told the officer, "Why did you hit me? I'm moving. I'm a reporter," Nazario recalled. [LAT]

The immigration rally drew 25,000 peaceful protesters. The anti-immigration crowd loves to trumpet their respect for law and order, but who was breaking the laws this time?

The chief of the LAPD admits that "inappropriate" police tactics weren't just directed against journalists. Officers fired rubber bullets into crowds of protesters that included children. Officials say they aren't sure whether orders to disperse were issued in Spanish, the native language of most of the protesters.

Update: Alan has much more on the police brutality at the LA immigration protest.

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Comments

Crowds shouldn't be order to "disperse" in any language.

Individuals can't turn themselves into vapor.

If police want a crowd to go to the nearest park, and say, "You must go north" that would be one thing.

Police should NOT be allowed to order a crowd to "disperse" because that order is impossible for an individual to follow. If a bunch of people respond to such an order by walking one way, then they haven't dispersed, and it's an excuse for police violence for supposedly not obeying.

This is really serious stuff. I came very close to getting injured by the police at a protest in NYC, and I've been spooked about going to protests ever since then. Even if the officers get punished afterwards, their actions still have a chilling effect. Police officers are just too unpredictable. I'd certainly never take a child to a large protest since that experience.

But I also think that the protest organizers can play a role in keeping protests peaceful by getting rid of the "black blok" anarchist kids going around in masks and antagonizing the police. (According to the LA times, they were the ones who first instigated the riot police action in this case.) Does anyone have any ideas about how to manage and isolate this small, violent sector of "protesters" who have no business disrupting the peaceful purpose of the march?

getting rid of the "black blok" anarchist kids going around in masks and antagonizing the police.

AP:

Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, who represents the park district, said police deliberately led troublemakers back to the peaceful marchers before beginning their assault.

"The only logical conclusion I can come to is that somebody wanted it to bleed into the march so that they can do some target practice on some of the immigrants that were marching," Nunez said.

Instead of herding them altogether like that the police should have herded them into an auditorium where ICE agents were there ready to process the illegals and ship them out of here. Sending them back to Mexico doesn't work so perhaps sending them to Iraq might!

"Does anyone have any ideas about how to manage and isolate this small, violent sector of "protesters" who have no business disrupting the peaceful purpose of the march?"

Find out which of: the LAPD, the FBI, or the CIA placed the infiltrators in to provoke the crowds to violence in the first place, and slash their budget.

That should do it.

I've already faced up to the fact that police can be indeed as bad as people said they could be. I can't believe (yet!) that the anarchist kids are all CIA infiltrators.

Also, as a practical matter, there must be ways the legitimate protestors can contain the troublemakers, no matter if they're anarchists or infiltrators? Didn't y'all learn how to deal with this in the 60s?


Nausicaa, yeah we learned in the 60s and early 70s that protestors were shit to be murdered by police, at the whim of a Republican administration. Tomorrow is Kent State Day, and not uncoincidentally, it now turns out that National Guard soldiers were given orders to shoot students on the campus.

If anything, America's getting worse under aWol, who couldn't be bothered to show up for his turn at war; which we're paying for now.

It doesn't matter to rightwingers in this administration who gets shot, as long as they get to show those darkies who's boss.

"It doesn't matter to rightwingers in this administration who gets shot, as long as they get to show those darkies who's boss."


Yeah that's it. It must be a racial issue.

Instead of herding them altogether like that the police should have herded them into an auditorium where ICE agents were there ready to process the illegals and ship them out of here. Sending them back to Mexico doesn't work so perhaps sending them to Iraq might!

...

Yeah that's it. It must be a racial issue.

Ow! Whiplash!

The immigration rally drew 500,000 peaceful protesters.

Actually those numbers were from LAST year's rally, as the linked story shows the date of March 26, 2006. This year's march on May 1 in Los Angeles had about 25,000 protesters. Just thought it was important to make that correction.

...the police should have herded them into an auditorium where ICE agents were there ready to process the illegals and ship them out of here.

Thou sayest!

Thanks, John. My bad.

Ruchira Paul has more on this; her daughter was present at the rally as a National Lawyers' Guild observer and was beaten and shot at with a rubber bullet.

The Los Angeles Police Department has a long, long history of violence and brutality directed against the city's Latino community. One example is LAPD's complicity in the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943, in which mobs of soldiers and sailors ravaged the barrio like stormtroopers on Krystalnacht. "The police practice was to accompany the caravans of soldiers and sailors in police cars, watch the beatings and jail the victims," reported Time Magazine.

Another example is the LAPD response to the National Chicano Moratorium March (against the Vietnam War) on August 29, 1970. That scenario was very much like Tuesday's. A peaceful parade of demonstrators marched to a rally in a Los Angeles park. Once the rally was in progress, LAPD moved in, firing tear gas into the crowd.

The LAPD violence directed against the press on Tuesday is another eerie echo of the 1970 police attack: When the police moved in, one officer fired a canister of teargas into a bar. Reuben Salazar, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and news director for KMEX-TV, was seated inside that bar, covering the demonstration. The teargas round, fired at close range, struck Salazar in the head and killed him.

The drama of police violence against nonwhite demonstrators in Los Angeles often resembles ritual theater, like a medieval morality play. It would almost be funny, if it weren't for its toll of mayhem and death.

"Ow! Whiplash!"


Please explain that one, I just don't get how ILLEGAL immigration enforcement becomes a racial issue.

I would say the same thing if it were any other group as well. If it were a demonstration of German, Swiss, French, Italian or canadian ILLEGAL immigrants they would have to go!

Please explain that one, I just don't get how ILLEGAL immigration enforcement becomes a racial issue.

Shooting into an unarmed crowd with rubber bullets is a rather novel means of immigration enforcement.

Come on, if you have lived anywhere in America where Anglos and Hispanics mix, you've heard the epithets: beaner, greaser, tacobender, pepperbelly, spick, wetback, enchillada, used to refer to Hispanics. You have also heard "illegals" used to refer to anyone who speaks Spanish, regardless of their actual legal status in the same way old-fashioned racists use the word "minority" in polite company when they actually mean "coon", or "spook" or whatever term they would use in private.

Most who support the rights of minorities and illegal aliens have no objection to immigration laws or their humane enforcement. What is objectionable is the assumption that any illegal alien is a subhuman dog that may be abused with impunity by "legitimate" Americans, and the ridiculous assumption that Hispanic people are part of some Ibero-Latino jihad/conspiracy to destroy "American" culture and the English language.

First of all Cfrost I asked Twig to explain the whiplash comment.

LAPD was dealing with a crowd control situation not a minority situation. Did they over-react, perhaps they did I wasn't there so I am not going to judge.

You can bend this anyway you see fit, that seems to be the norm around here.

Police Firemen Paramedics.

The PURPLISH-ORANGE wall of silence.

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