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Press Release: Police Brutality Caught on Video

by Cop Watch Los Angeles Wednesday, Nov. 08, 2006 at 8:10 AM
copwatchla@riseup.net 562 252 8501 Chuco's Justice Center -- 253 W. Martin Luther King Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90037

On August 11th, 2006, William Cardenas, 24 from Hollywood, California was arrested and brutally beaten by the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. The cops would have gotten away with the beating if it wasn’t for a neighbor who video-taped the beating on her camera.

Date: November 7, 2006
For Immediate Release: Police Brutality Caught on Video. SEE THE VIDEO AT
COPWACTH Los Angeles Voice Mail - (562) 252-8501;
website - http://www.copwatchla.org
Youth Justice Coalition: http://www.myspace.com/freela
freelanow@yahoo.com (323)235-4243
October 22nd Coalition: http://www.myspace.com/october22nd_la

Attorney B. Kwaku Duren (also Chair, New Black Panther Vanguard Movement)
can be reached at kwaku@globalpanther.com or (323) 290-6146 [office] or
(310) 780-6739 [cell phone]

On August 11th, 2006, William Cardenas, 24 from Hollywood, California was
arrested and brutally beaten by the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles
Police Department. The cops would have gotten away with the beating if it
wasn’t for a neighbor who video-taped the beating on her camera.

William Cardenas was still arrested and is still being charged with 2
counts of Penal Code 69, which is a felony “use of violence or threat of
violence to prevent an officer from performing their duty.” The District
Attorney’s Office is also adding a one year “gang” enhancement, alleging
that his conduct was intended to benefit his alleged gang membership.
However, William doesn't have a history of gang involvement until now, or
since the LAPD put it on his record.

In the video of the arrest, you can see two white cops, Patrick Farrell
and Alexander Schlege, on top of William. Schlege held William down and
held his hands while Farell choked William with his knee and punched him
several times with a full fist into the side of his face. Throughout the
police assault, you can clearly hear Cardenas struggling to get words out
of his mouth that he was choking and couldn’t breathe yet the blows from
Farrell continue.

Joaquin Cienfuegos, an organizer with Cop Watch Los Angeles stated, “We
feel that these are experiences that dehumanize people. They are taking
away the human rights or William Cardenas, and therefore we do not see the
police as ‘officers of the law’ or give them any respect – since this
video supports the view that they are vicious animals who treat us as
their prey.”

For most young working class people of color this is not new. We get
stopped, harassed, brutalized, and sometimes even killed by the police in
our communities simply due to the color of our skin, where we live, or how
we dress and look. We are stopped and humiliated for looking a certain
way; they take pictures of us and we are added to the gang database; and
baseless “gang enhancements” are charged by the District Attorney’s
office. Most of the time, police actions do not get caught on camera,
and are therefore hidden from the public.

A member from Cop Watch Los Angeles who wishes to remain anonymous states,
“We are building a movement, along with other community organizations to
stop this brutality and murder - which is nothing more than
neo-colonialism - a crime against humanity. We need to defend our
communities and ourselves from these racist policies and what we see as an
occupying army that is the LAPD who terrorize us and our communities on a
daily basis. The police who patrol us do not even live in our
communities, so they do not know how to relate to us, and don’t know how
to deal with our specific problems that can be handled without the use of
brutality and murder. The policing that occurs in no way serves or
protects us.”

Cop Watch Los Angeles empowers the community to patrol the police, to
watch them, and take direct action to build liberated zones. We believe
that communities can organize themselves. Through self-determination, we
can deal with our own safety and defense through popular assemblies and
direct-democratic community councils. We can build our own community
defense and look after one another, so we won’t have police brutality.

Cop Watch Los Angeles is supporting William Cardenas, who is still facing
criminal charges. Action against the cops Pattrick Farell and Alexander
Schlege will be taken as well. Williams is scheduled for another court
hearing on November 9, 2006 in Department 115 at 8:30 a.m. William is
being defended, pro bono, by private attorney B. Kwaku Duren.

COPWATCH Los Angeles Office - c/o Chuco’s Justice Center 235 West Martin
Luther King Blvd., L.A., CA 90037

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