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LAPD attacks protesters at anti-police brutality march.

by Beth VanBuecken Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2000 at 12:45 AM
bethvb@aol.com

A short first hand news account of the LAPD's violence at today's anti-police brutality protest.

Today the LAPD again demonstrated a lack of respect for the safety and welfare of the people that they are sworn to serve and protect, as a peaceful protest against police brutality erupted in violence. The Oct 22 Coalition led thousands of protesters on a march down Broadway to the Parker Center, headquarters of the LAPD. People lined the streets all the way up Broadway to watch the march, many of them families with young children. At all the intersections along the way police in riot gear stood impassively as protesters marched by chanting "Who let the pigs out?"

At the Parker center, organizers urged the protesters to surround the block, but as the protesters reached First Street, they were blocked by a barricade of cars and mounted police. Several teens lit a puppet on fire near the line of police, and began throwing water bottles at the officers. The scene turned into mass chaos in seconds as police advanced on protesters. People were beaten and kicked by the police when they would not move from an area they had a legal permit to be protesting in. The crowd suddenly broke and ran as the police began firing rubber bullets into the crowd without serious provocation, warnings to disperse, or any attempts at negotiation. The mounted police chased the frightened group of protesters back down First and corraled them inside a ring of riot cops.

A number of people were hit with rubber bullets. A young teenage girl, hit in the eye at close range staggered down the street with blood dripping from her face. 10 policemen chased down and beat a young man, only feet away from a mother and her three young children who were crying with fear. There appeared to be no serious provocation for this excessive display of police brutality. The police fired rubber bullets at close range into the crowd, without attempting to use less harmful methods such as pepper spray.

and tear gas first. The violence ended in an uneasy standoff when organizers made the crowd sit down silently and peacefully in front of the advancing horses. By about 5:00 p.m. the scene had settled down. Testaments continued from the main stage from the friends and family of dozens of Los Angeles residents killed by the police, while the ring of LAPD cops looked on from behind their shields.

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