Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Breaking News
New Footage You've Just Got To See!

I just had to comment on this. My normal daily blog entry is below this story. This ALERT isn't to throw my opinion out there about the subject matter, it's the treatment of both the people involved and the media. Yesterday, violence broke out between immigration rights advocates and police officers after a day of peaceful marching through downtown Los Angeles.

About 25,000 people waving American and Mexican flags marched from City Hall to MacArthur Park, including 1,480 Los Angeles Unified School District students. Organizers had predicted lower turnout, blaming stepped-up immigration raids, frustration that Congress hasn't passed immigration reform, and an effort by many groups to shift their focus from street mobilizations to citizenship and voter registration drives.

The violence erupted at MacArthur Park after protesters allegedly threw rocks and bottles at police officers. Officers fired rubber bullets and used batons to push the crowd out of the street and back onto the sidewalk. Dozens of officers were deployed to the area, but it was unclear whether anyone was injured.

The reaction of the LAPD and their use of force seemed excessive. Our local Fox affiliate was covering the melee and the police, in their attempt to disperse the crowd, even beat up on the Fox crew. Reporter Christina Gonzalez went to help her camera operator who was hit with a baton and fell to the ground with a 20+ pound camera on her shoulder. Other media people got hit and pushed also. The cops knew who they were, every news media wears ID's at events like this. You really need to see this video. Click Here to View It Now! Having been out there covering events like this, I sure as hell wouldn't have appreciated this harsh treatment when I'm out there trying to do my job.

Because of a few idiots in the crowd, the reation by the LAPD was over the top. Too many innocent people, including the media were hit and even possibly injured. And it's all on tape. LAPD Chief Bill Bratton stated that there will be an investigation into the LAPD's use of force during the immigration marches on Tuesday.

I know that the Chief can't control every officer and sometimes the use of force is justified. But in this case, on a woman reporter and camera operator, it was over the top. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this investigation. Okay Mr. Police Chief and Mr. Mayor, as Ricky always used to say to Lucy...

"You got some splainin' to do!"