MORE

Ronald Weekley Jr., Skater Punched by LAPD, Hires Trayvon Martin Lawyer Benjamin Crump

Weekley.

ABC Los AngelesWeekley.

The family of Ronald Weekley Jr., that Venice skateboarder tackled by police and punched by one cop in a takedown captured on video, has hired the same attorney who represents the parents of teen shooting victim Trayvon Martin.

The attorney was introduced to the press yesterday during a news conference at the First Baptist Church in Venice. The Los Angeles Times says Weekley told journalists that at least one cop called him a "dumb ape" dumb ass during the confrontation.

In a statement sent to the Weekly and other outlets, family and friends say ...

... Weekley, who was home in Venice on summer vacation from Xavier University in Louisiana, was skateboarding in front of his home when he was approached, tackled and beaten by the LAPD officers. The beating was captured on a cellphone video camera.

During yesterday's briefing, Crump quickly brought up the issue of race, saying:

Nobody said that Ronald Weekley Jr. did anything to attack the police ... Was he stopped because he was on the wrong side of the road, or was he attacked because he was the wrong color?

KTLA News reported that Crump would assist local counsel from the law firm of Johnnie Cochran. The station says a civil rights lawsuit against the LAPD was in the making.

The confrontation happened Saturday about 6:25 p.m. on Sunset Avenue near Sixth Avenue, according to police. The skater was in the street, in violation of the law, cops told us. Police later said he was riding on the wrong side of the road.

A friend of Weekley's said via Twitter that the skater didn't want to stop for officers because he feared he would caught up in what he thought would be an investigation of nearby gangsters.

Weekley told reporters "it's not true" that he reached for an officer's gunbelt, a tidbit that KTLA News reported, however.

The 20-year-old says he suffered a broken nose, a fractured cheekbone and a concussion in the takedown.

Police told the Weekly investigations into the cops' actions and those of Weekley were under way.

A second demonstration against the LAPD's actions in the Weekley case was scheduled in Venice today.

[With reporting from City News Service / @dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]