Journo takes officer to task, identifies him for web-stream as peaceful crowd chants 'Guns down!'...
By Brad Friedman on 12/1/2011, 7:40pm PT  

Yesterday, during my KPFK/Pacifica interview on Wednesday with citizen journalist and fearless video live-streamer Spencer Mills (better known to the world as "OakFoSho") about his remarkable coverage of the Tuesday Night/Wednesday morning LAPD raid of OccupyLA at Los Angeles City Hall, we discussed a moment when an LAPD officer had, inappropriately, pointed a gun at him, and Mills' fearless attempt to take the officer to task for it.

"Escamilla is pointing his gun at protesters," Mills is heard saying on the video. The officer then points the gun towards the sky, and then lowers it briefly straight at the camera as the journalist's video-camera records the moment for posterity.

"That's not necessary! You just pointed your weapon right at me!," Mills shouts to the cop. "That's not necessary!...It's against procedure and it's against code and you're not supposed to do it! Take your finger off the trigger, please. Thank you! Don't point your weapon at me. It's against procedure and its against code. I'm a journalist! I'm allowed to be here!"

The crowd follows up Mills by chanting, "Guns down! Guns down! Guns down!"

"Again, his name is Escamilla," Mills says near the end of the clip, before spelling out his name. "E-S-C-A-M-I-L-L-A. I believe he just broke procedure."

Prior to the show yesterday, I wasn't able to find the audio from the incident, which I had seen live as it occurred on OakFoSho/Mills' live-stream, but RT (Russian television) apparently noticed it, and highlighted it yesterday. Here's that moment...

Also, as we've been quite complimentary, in general, towards the way the LAPD handled the eviction from the park in a surprisingly peaceful way (versus the appalling example set by other cities where police sparked violence by the use of pepper spray, tear gas, and more against peaceful demonstrators), it seems, in addition to the above, a bit more video is helpful for balance.

"OccupyFreedomLA," the other video live-streamer who joined me in-studio at KPFK on Wednesday to discuss her coverage, sends along the following video captured that same night and aired by KCBS2/KCAL9 (yes, their news divisions are now merged), showing exceedingly rough treatment by the LAPD of a photojournalist in the park that night. "It could have been us," she notes, in the tweet accompanying the link she sent to both me and "OakFoSho"...

We can't see what sparks the LAPD behavior in the above video, so we'll reserve judgment until we learn more. But, in any case, with that caveat, here's the way the video above is described by the poster at YouTube...

Photojournalist Tyson Zoltan Heder, who was photographing the events of Occupy Los Angeles and the LAPD evicting the protesters, was beaten by the police and had his camera taken, and then he was detained and charged with "assault", and at the time of uploading this video he remains in police custody. Watch the video and see if you can see anyone doing any "assault" to anyone else. I'll give you a hint: Tyson isn't the perpetrator of any assault, he's the one who GETS assaulted.