LAPD Opens Investigation Into Clash Between Cop And 'Fruitcake' Photographer

As predicted, the Los Angeles Police Department is investigating a videotaped confrontation between an officer and a photographer in which the shooter is called a "fruitcake" and told that taking the cop's picture is illegal.

"Internal Affairs will conduct an exhaustive and impartial investigation into this matter," Commander Richard Webb stated Thursday. "Constitutional policing is very important to Chief Beck and we examine cases through that lens. We will keep the Inspector General informed of the progress of the investigation which will ultimately be presented to the Chief of Police to determine if any discipline or retraining should take place."

The photographer came upon the traffic stop near Hollywood Boulevard and Normandie Avenue in Thai Town in February and appeared to have somehow videotaped his actions as he snapped photos. The cop ordered him to move along, but the shooter argued that he was within his rights to take pictures. The resulting video was just posted on YouTube this month.

The officer is heard saying, "You fruitcake god dang it ... I sweat my god dang ass fucking two years in the desert. I gotta hear from your fruitcake ass?"

The cop, identified only by a name tag of Espinoza and his apparent attachment to a Northeast Division patrol unit stopped nearby, detains the photog, saying he was being stopped for illegally taking pictures.

According to an LAPD statement released Thursday, "At a point in the video footage, the involved officer directed some words toward the photographer that warrants an investigation by Internal Affairs and a review by the officer's chain of command."

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