I was videotaping at the flashpoint of the disturbance at today's rally. The police made an initial advance, firing rubber bullets and bean bags, and pushed the protesters out into the intersection. An officer fired a bean bag (or maybe it was the big foam rubber bullets, I can't tell the difference) at protesters across the street, and reloaded. A shopping cart was rolled at the line of officers. (I would like to point out that this was a less-than-lethal shopping cart.) The same officer unloaded at the source of the shopping cart attack. (Since the cart had already been pushed, I assume this was a retaliatory strike, a la the Israeli military). Then the officer closest to me, who appeared to be in a command position (he was giving orders) calls out to the protesters, "Come on! Come on!," in a taunting tone, while waving his club.
Section 404.6 of the California Criminal Code, entitled "Urging riot," reads "Every person who with the intent to cause a riot does an act or engages in conduct that urges a riot, or urges others to commit acts of force or violence, or the burning or destroying of property, and at a time and place and under circumstances that produce a clear and present and immediate danger of acts of force or violence or the burning or destroying of property, is guilty of incitement to riot." I am afraid that the officer was in violation of this Code, which carries a 00 fine and/or a year in prison upon conviction, and I urge him to turn himself in immediately.
After committing this felony, this same officer informed me that I should "back your ass up" and then, "back your fucking ass up" (he must have thought me confused as to which ass I should back up), and finally, "back your ass the fuck up." It will be a shame to lose such a professional member of the LAPD to the fine folks at San Quentin for a year, but I guess we can still make due. Perhaps, though, we can ease the blow of the fine by taking up a collection. Please make your donation at www.backyourassthefuckup.org.
I'll have some photos up tomorrow. I don't have the capability to upload my video, but please contact me if you think you want to see it.