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Commentary :: Education
LA Illegal Alien Riot Was Instigated by Anarchists
02 May 2007
Police to Review Clash at LA Rally
Email this Story

May 2, 5:21 PM (ET)

By PETER PRENGAMAN

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police Chief William J. Bratton said Wednesday that some of the police tactics used to clear immigration protesters from a park were inappropriate, as news videos showed officers striking people with batons and firing rubber bullets into crowds that included children.

Images showed police hitting a television cameraman to the ground and shoving people who were walking away from officers at Tuesday's demonstration. Some injured people were seen in the videos, including a Hispanic man with a bleeding welt on his stomach and back.

Bratton promised an investigation and said he would discuss the matter further at a news conference later Wednesday.

"Quite frankly, I was disturbed at what I saw," Bratton told KNX-AM. He said the actions of some officers "were inappropriate in terms of use of batons and possible use of nonlethal rounds fired."

The Police Commission, a five-member board appointed by the mayor, has opened its own investigation, said panel spokeswoman Tami Catania. Officers who violated department policy could receive discipline ranging from written warnings to firing.

Andre Birotte, the department's inspector general, said his office was trying to determine what exactly officers said to disperse the crowd and whether the order was in Spanish - the native language of most protesters.

Rally organizers denounced police actions as brutal and unnecessary, and worried what the clash could mean for an immigration rights movement known for its peaceful rallies.

The clash at MacArthur Park started after 6 p.m. when police tried to disperse demonstrators who had moved off the sidewalk onto the street. Authorities said several of the few thousand people still at the rally threw rocks and bottles at officers, who fired rubber bullets and used batons to push the crowd back onto the sidewalk.

"They were pushing children, elderly, mothers with their babies and beating up on the media," said Angela Sambrano, director of the Central American Resource Center. "The aggressiveness against the immigrant community is unbelievable."

Several people, including about a dozen officers, were hurt. About 10 people were taken to hospitals for treatment of injuries including cuts, authorities said. None of the injuries was believed to be serious. At least one person was arrested, but police have not released a name.

Maria Elena Durazo, the executive secretary-treasurer at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, said the trouble was instigated by "a group of anarchists, not associated with the rally."

Spanish-language TV station Telemundo said one of its reporters and three camera operators were injured and taken to the hospital by police. Fox 11 aired video of a station camerawoman apparently being struck by a baton-wielding police officer in riot gear.

KPCC radio reporter Patricia Nazario said she was hit in the back and ribs with a baton, then hit her head and twisted her ankle while falling from a blow.

She described an interaction with an officer who was hitting her.

"'Why did you hit me? I'm a reporter,'" Nazario recalled saying Wednesday during an interview on her station. "And he hit me again, harder that time, and I fell; and I fell on the dirt and my phone flew like about 12 feet in front of me."

The Radio and Television News Association of Southern California called for an investigation.

"There is evidence that officers knocked reporters to the ground, used batons on photographers and damaged cameras, possibly motivated by anger over journalists photographing efforts by officers to control the movements of marchers," the group said in a statement.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was traveling in El Salvador during a trade mission, said the clash was "a most unfortunate end to a peaceful day."

Protesters marched in cities nationwide attempting to persuade Congress to create a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. Tuesday's protests were smaller than similar demonstrations a year earlier that drew hundreds of thousands of people in some cities.
See also:
http://apnews.myway.com/article/20070502/D8OSG27G6.html

This work is in the public domain

Comments

when in doubt, blame anarchists
02 May 2007
it's sad that that labor woman had to try and lay the blame on anarchists. why do people within the "movement" always have to blame others within that movement, rather than the real attackers, the cops?
Apparently....
02 May 2007
Because she saw them do it. Solidarity only stretches so far, especially when thugs and miscreants throw something into a situation, thinking it will start a revolution and it only gets innocent people hurt.
thugz n miskreents
02 May 2007
whoever started the melee was put there by the police to do it

provacateur (SP?)

they were making an example

they did it in flroda a lot too for various things

some law suits against the govt concerning injuries by police, especially police on tape,. have resulted in some big payoffs, and thats what they understand best, take money
Or......
02 May 2007
Or in a nationwide day of peaceful protestors, the people in LA just couldn't avoid acting the fool.