Video: Protesters Allege Police Harassed Cyclists and Then Arrested Photographer Recording the Harassment

This video reportedly shows Los Angeles police menacing riders in a “critical mass” bike protest against British Petroleum by sticking out their feet. According to the cyclists, when one person filming the scene objected, he was arrested.

The protesters say that an officer was trying to either kick or trip a cyclist when another cyclist shouted out an objection. The next thing shown is an officer taking down the photographer.

One of the concerns with the video is that it seems to follow a worrisome trend of police arresting anyone filming them on public streets, including some police departments who have said that any filming of police in such circumstances is a crime (here and here). In England, police appear to be arresting people on the same grounds, here.

6 thoughts on “Video: Protesters Allege Police Harassed Cyclists and Then Arrested Photographer Recording the Harassment”

  1. Received last night from LAPD:
    Advisory Message has been issued by the LAPD Headquarters.

    Saturday May 29, 2010 8:41 PM PDT

    Los Angeles Police Department Investigates Complaint of Use of Force Against Bicyclist

    Los Angeles: Hollywood Area LAPD bike officers are involved in an incident that results in a complaint filed by representatives of the LA biking community.

    On May 28, 2010 around 9:30 pm, LAPD Hollywood Area bike unit officers were patrolling the Entertainment District in Hollywood, at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard, just east of Highland Avenue, when a group of bicyclists numbering approximately 400 traveled eastbound on Hollywood Boulevard.

    As part of enforcement efforts, LAPD Officers were watching for red light violations, and issuing citations. As Officers attempted to detain several bicyclists, a reported use of force was captured on video.

    “In response to what we learned, we immediately launched a full-scale investigation to determine the facts surrounding the events,” said LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger. “The Departments Professional Standards Bureau has taken the lead in the inquiry and the Police Commission’s Inspector General has also been made fully aware of the matter.”

    Since November 2009, the LAPD Office of Operations has worked closely with representatives of the biking community to improve relations, make the streets safer for bicyclists and discuss and identify issues involving bicyclists that are problematic for the motoring public.

    “Our Department takes seriously its obligations and commitment to all members of the community. The Chief of Police and I pledged our strong support to work closely with the bike community and that promise has not wavered. It’s our hope that the relationship we’ve developed with the biking community over the past months will be strengthened even more as we continue to work together to find solutions to difficult circumstances such as these.”

    LAPD Internal Affairs Group is investigating this reported use of force incident.

    For full details, go to

  2. Thanks to the large vacuum created by ineffectual leadership at all levels of government, police departments across the country are power-grabbing without fear of official retribution. Thus the average cop on the beat is becoming more of a danger to the average citizen on the street than the average criminal on the take is.

    This sort of police power-grabbing can be stopped dead in its tracks by any Mayor, Safety Director, or City Manager. If the people holding any of these offices have failed to act by reigning in police power trippers, simply replace them with someone who will. That’s what the ballot is for and that is the ultimate power trip.

  3. Photographing police activities is just one of the offenses that can earn you a Contempt of Cop charge.

    Although some offenders may simply be arrested and forced to plea to avoid life-changing charges, other offenders will be subject to extrajudicial punishments administered at the discretion of the officer.

  4. Der Father land would be most pleased with the results in today’s society.

    However, I am not.

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