Occupy LA: Reports of LAPD Violence

Josh’s hand, hit by rifle-fired projectile. This photo was taken at 3:50 am Wednesday on Main Street about a block south of La Placita Queen of Angels Church. A man with him who declined to be named or photographed had been struck in the face with a police baton; there was slight swelling around his mouth, and the inside of his lip was broken. He told me

I forgive the cop, I forgive him.

Josh had been in City Hall Park when the dispersal order came. He and his friends told me an office called out

Hey you!

and Josh turned, pointing at himself as if to ask,

Who me?

and was struck in the wrist by an LAPD projectile fired from a green shotgun at a distance of about 30 feet away. He was triaged by roaming medics once he left the park, and had an ice pack on his wrist. He could move his fingers slightly.

About 45 minutes later he walked into the parking lot of La Placita Queen of Angels. I had already spoken with one of the legal observers from Peace in Harmony about him, and pointed him out to the medics when he arrived to get him a fresh ice pack before he spoke with the legal observer (LO). His hand had swollen considerably, but he was still able to move his fingers and asked for a cigarette before talking with the LO. He was sleeping in the medic tent when the National Lawyers Guild arrived from the park. I provided these photos to the NLG rep.

Ruth Fowler wrote on Occupy LA’s website:

No bad treatment of protestors occurred while the mainstream media was watching – it was only at the end that this occurred, when the non pool reporters were separated from the pool media, and the reporters not in the pool were shoved and hit by cops.

At this point I left, but other non-pool media refused to leave and wanted to stay reporting on the scene. Jared Iorio, our photographer, stayed for fifteen minutes after me and was hit twice in the chest with a baton by a policeman until he left Solidarity Park…

She goes on to say that after leaving the park and assembling on Los Angeles Street:

We were blocked (kettled) in on Alameda between second and first. The police started running towards us – the group was now about 100 people by this point – and everyone ran into a parking lot to escape. The police ran after them and started beating protestors with batons repeatedly as they were running away trying to escape. I saw about ten police hit protestors. I did not get video footage nor photographs as I was running…

This media pool drew mainstream media into the inner circle, where they were treated to a display of courteous policing and nonviolence by the police. Even I was impressed by the police. The operation was smooth and efficient and tactical.

Then the pool media was divided from the regular media, and kept in the inner circle. They were not present to witness the brutality and violence enacted by LAPD officers who were kettling and running after protestors in order to beat them outside the park and mainstream media attention. LAPD smoothly kept MSM from witnessing this, and tried to control other media by constant kettling and dividing of the crowd.

21 Responses to "Occupy LA: Reports of LAPD Violence"
eCAHNomics | Wednesday November 30, 2011 07:39 pm 1

Stop the presses.

Police are violent.

nahant | Wednesday November 30, 2011 07:56 pm 2

Fuckers!! They must have been chomping at the bit to be unleashed so they could abuse the
DFH’s and the young protesters… I bet they felt good getting their adrenalin pumping abuse the 1st amendment protesters trying to express their views.. The MOTU are salivating at the videos as their bought and paid for goons do their bidding!!

Macweenie | Wednesday November 30, 2011 07:57 pm 3

I do not forgive ANYONE who would assault another for simply holding a differing opinion. Screw the cops who were “just following orders”.

homeroid | Wednesday November 30, 2011 08:12 pm 4

We are only SB 1867 away from live ammo and no chance of bail.

eCAHNomics | Wednesday November 30, 2011 08:19 pm 5
In response to Macweenie @ 3

Disobedience is a capital offense. If you don’t believe me, hold a seance with my long deceased parents.

TMI, but I did nothing but achieve above my parents’ wildest expectations, yet in my youth they threatened to call the local orphanage to collect me. Why? I haven’t a clue. I even asked my mother when she was in her 80s and I was in my 60s. She was tongue tied.

In retrospect I decided that my parents experienced my stubbornness as extremely threatening. Go figger.

homeroid | Wednesday November 30, 2011 08:25 pm 6

eCAHN i love ya but i could not imagine being your parents. Having done that whole road.

eCAHNomics | Wednesday November 30, 2011 08:33 pm 7
In response to homeroid @ 6

You’ll be happy to hear that my son is extracting my parents’ revenge.

eCAHNomics | Wednesday November 30, 2011 08:40 pm 8
In response to homeroid @ 6

More substantive response.

It’s why I understand OWS so thoroughly. My innate sense of right & wrong (heh, maybe) or perhaps oppressed & rulers, regardless of right or wrong, that drove my parents nuts, is also what drives Occupies.

Phoenix Woman | Wednesday November 30, 2011 09:36 pm 9
In response to eCAHNomics @ 1

Ah, but you’d never know that from the embedded media reports, who blame the protesters for falling onto the nightsticks.

By the way, when you see media reports stating that protesters attacked police with “nail-filled sticks”, the English translation is that the cops were beating up protesters who were carrying signs — that were (of course) nailed to sticks.

Phoenix Woman | Wednesday November 30, 2011 09:37 pm 10

You’ll be happy to hear that my son is extracting my parents’ revenge.

Dare I ask how?

CTuttle | Wednesday November 30, 2011 09:41 pm 11

Then the pool media was divided from the regular media, and kept in the inner circle. They were not present to witness the brutality and violence enacted by LAPD officers who were kettling and running after protestors in order to beat them outside the park and mainstream media attention. LAPD smoothly kept MSM from witnessing this, and tried to control other media by constant kettling and dividing of the crowd.

Wow, LAPD was slick indeed…! I watched much of the live feeds here most of the nite, and was impressed at both the Occupiers and LAPD’s actions and I’m surprised there was the violent ‘kettling’ actions happening…! I would add that my jaw dropped when I heard NPR reported on Villagarosa’s statement praising LAPD for their exceptional service during such trying circumstances…! *gah*

mzchief | Thursday December 1, 2011 02:10 am 12


Ruth Fowler wrote on Occupy LA’s website:

… my antenna went up when the police left OakFoSho inside the media pool. He reported on his live stream Twitter reports (I was seeing them on streams I was watching) of police chasing protesters (~ 2 AM PST) but he couldn’t document it as he was inside the media pen.

RT @tami8283: @OccupyMills @OakFoSho: @Punkboyinsf is at 1st and San pedro, big LAPD presence chasing down protestors (live at http://t.co/q8HOVuvg(preview))
23 hr ago from Ustream.TV

Later, watch Commander Smith, how he provides blocking for the media and tells media what they can and can’t do in preparation for the LA mayor and LAPD chief of police press conference (begin at time point 9:30). Here is where OakFoSho asks Commander Smith about the protesters that were chased by police and listen carefully to what Commander Smith says (time point 4:43).

mzchief | Thursday December 1, 2011 02:15 am 13

Re #OWS …

Video– “Crossing Police Lines: US cops defect to OWS” (RT.Com, Dec. 1, 2011)

Pannochka | Thursday December 1, 2011 07:11 am 14

I have spoken to a few people who have only heard about what happened the other night at City Hall by watching the news…so all they have heard was how peaceful it was…with no violence from the police.

And I don’t know how to let all the people I DON’T know become aware that they did not get the complete picture of the events and why.

Posting links on twitter and facebook will only reach so many people.
Makes me so frustrated. The people in power continue to control what the people see and thus control what they know, and keep people from reacting to events as they might if they had a more complete picture.

Nothing to see here, citizen.

Pannochka | Thursday December 1, 2011 07:42 am 15

Occupy L.A.: Nearly 300 protesters still in jail face $5,000 bail

The National Lawyers Guild is calling for nearly 300 Occupy L.A. protesters arrested early Wednesday to be released from jail.

Attorney Carol Sobel of the lawyers guild said protesters should be released with notices to appear before court and not be punished “for exercising their 1st Amendment rights.

She said she several attorneys said they had not been able to visit their clients behind bars at the Metropolitan Detention Center because the jail was closed because of staffing problems and the large influx of inmates.
Sobel rebuked city officials for being too focused on its plan of moving in on protesters and — neglecting to plan for what came next.

“They had this elaborate plan”, she said. “But they didn’t have a plan for arresting them.”

I think she is using judicious words. They (the police) are using this as an excuse to add extra punishment to people who would not leave the park when told to do so. They knew they were going to arrest a lot of people, yet still did not plan how to deal with influx? Right.

socalmonk | Thursday December 1, 2011 08:21 am 16

I have heard from a number of Occupiers that they would like to see the movement progress beyond the “cops beating peaceful protesters” scenario, and I agree with them. The government, however, is stuck in that scenario, and instead of trying to move beyond beating and abusing peaceful protesters with legitimate grievances, they are working on refining the techniques of abuse and image management. They want things to stay the way they are, so they may continue to beat peaceful protesters with legitimate grievances, the greatest of which is the abuse of a population that just wants peace and prosperity. As is the greater, so is the smaller. The people who rule us are violent, and are not concerned with our best interests, make no mistake.

bluewombat | Thursday December 1, 2011 09:46 am 17
In response to homeroid @ 4

Apparently we’re closer than that. From an e-mail I received from ANSWER:

Not only were hundreds of people arrested in the police raid in Los Angeles last night but the LAPD and Mayor, having socked each arrested person with a $5,000 bail, are now refusing to release them from jail and are refusing to allow them to meet with their attorneys.

National Lawyers Guild board member, Carol Sobel, condemned the action of the LAPD. “The Los Angeles Police Department is deliberately refusing to release anyone arrested in the Occupy raids with a notice to appear. The City is holding them in jail on $5,000 bail until they can be arraigned by a judge, which can take up to 48 hours. This punishes people for exercising their First Amendment rights.”

Sobel continued: “California law is clear. Penal Code §853.6 is mandatory in requiring that anyone charged with a misdemeanor shall be released with a written notice to appear.”

Eyewitness report from attorney Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson is an attorney and the ANSWER Los Angeles coordinator. He is the attorney for arrested activists Mike Prysner and Doug Kauffman.

“This afternoon, after finding out where Occupy LA protesters were being held following last night’s assault and eviction of peaceful demonstrators carried out by the LAPD, I went down to check on the status of my clients and others who were arrested.

“When I arrived, the doors were closed and a line had formed outside. I saw a notice which read, ‘Front lobby closed until further notice.’

“I knocked on the door to talk to someone. An LAPD officer came out. I told him I was an attorney for two of the protesters being held inside. ‘We are closed,’ he said. ‘You cannot visit your clients or anyone.’ He informed me I could not post bail or talk to anyone there. ‘Call my watch commander,’ he added.

“I then called the watch commander with the same request. ‘You cannot see your clients,’ he told me. ‘Call back in several hours.’

“Hundreds of people are being held inside this jail without access to legal counsel. As of now they are being held on $5,000 bail until they can be arraigned which can take up to 48 hours. Apparently the LAPD and Mayor Villaraigosa are refusing to allow people to post the bail even if they can.

“This is unconscionable and a violation of civil rights for my clients and all people held inside,” Thompson stated.

In the press statement calling for the release of the arrested people, the National Lawyers Guild chapter in Los Angeles said, “New York City was successfully sued in 2004 when they tried the same tactic against individuals involved in protesting at the Republican National Convention.

Pannochka | Thursday December 1, 2011 10:09 am 18
In response to bluewombat @ 17

mzchief | Friday December 2, 2011 02:54 pm 19

Good on you for your detective work and congratulations, Lisa, on the mention by LA Weekly.

PJEvans | Saturday December 3, 2011 10:12 pm 20

The city is now admitting that everything that was left in the encampment was sent to the landfills – nothing was returned to its owners or even recycled.

(I suspect at least some of the stuff that was trashed would have been evidence against the city and its claims.)

Cindi Burkey | Monday December 5, 2011 05:45 pm 21
In response to eCAHNomics @ 5

“Control” is the name of the religion frequently practiced by people on each other…esp. on kids…..threaten the idea of it and people freak out.

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