LAPD Chief Claims 'Elements of the Crowd' Threw Projectiles at Police in Riot Gear, News Reports Say the Rally Had Been Peaceful
National Coordinators Call for Independent Investigation, Further Information from Those at MacArthur Park Rally...
Officers in riot gear from the Los Angeles Police Department fired rubber bullets and used tear gas to disperse a "crowd of hundreds" gathered at a local park for a previously peaceful May Day immigration rally tonight.
National rally coordinators are protesting the action and have sent us a statement via email asking citizens to call on LAPD Chief William Bratton and LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to demand an independent investigation into the "May Day incident at MacArthur Park." They are also seeking information from anyone in the crowd at MacArthur Park in Los Angeles during the incident. The statement, sent from Lee Sui Hin, National Coordinator from the National Immigrant Solidarity Network/Action LA Coalition, is posted in full at the end of this article.
NBC 4 is reporting that Bratton is claiming "15 officers were hit by missiles that were thrown at them by 'certain elements of the crowd ... who we don't believe were representative' of most of those who were there...While he spoke, a person could be heard declaring, 'That's not true.'"
He's promised an investigation, though the rally coordinators are demanding tonight that an independent commission be appointed to look into the matter.
Fox 11 has a very good first-hand video report, featuring their local reporter who had been covering the rally and said she heard no notice to disperse, as claimed by the police. Her crew was roughed up, as seen in the video.
AFP reports that some 200,000 rallied nationwide today. Here's what UPI is reporting tonight on the LA incident:
LA Times is reporting, in contradiction to UPI that:
UPDATE: 5/2/07: Extraordinary new video now available here...
The complete statement from the National Immigrant Solidarity Network follows below...
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