VIDEO: LAPD Riot Squad Tackles Occupy L.A. Photographer
Update, with full story: "Tyson Heder, Photojournalist Mauled by LAPD, Still in Jail After Occupy L.A. Raid; Others Allege Baton Brutality."
Though most protesters, observers and journalists at the LAPD raid of the Occupy L.A. camp last night gave the 1,200 responding riot police a gold star for good behavior, at least one photographer at the scene isn't singing their praises this morning.
As the Los Angeles Times gingerly puts it, "LAPD too violent, some Occupy L.A. protesters allege."
But we don't see anything alleged about the following video, in which a man trying to record the officers tearing down one of Occupy's structures turns into their human ping-pong ball:
[Update: It appears the video has been removed due to "copyright claims" by CBS. Wack. Here's how we remember it: Photographer gets shoved to the ground. Furious, he gets up and starts yelling at officers. So a pack of about five officers maul him to the ground and drag him away. Wish y'all could have seen it; best local TV in years.]
Dude's got to seriously be hurting right now. Hopefully he at least got some dramatic first-person footage out of it.
So -- is the Los Angeles Police Department taking a page from L.A. County Sheriff, who makes a policy of detaining photographers simply for taking pictures? The LAPD did warn freelance and indie journalists (and all those, including the LA Weekly, not among the 12 chosen for the eviction's official "media pool") that they were subject to arrest if they didn't excuse themselves from the "unlawful assembly."
In other words, subject to being treated like peaceful protesters. That's why chosen media poolers got biohazard-proof gloves!
The all-star Ustreamer behind "Occupy Oakland Live" commended police for their careful, well-planned approach to the Los Angeles eviction, and for always displaying their names on their badges -- something that couldn't be said for squads in many other cities.
But, to quote the runner-up on the last season of "The Bachelor" (don't judge): "You can't leave something like this on good terms. It's not possible." Occupiers wanted to stay, the city wanted them gone. Looks like their was some sketchy collateral.
For full coverage of last night's raid, see "LAPD Moves In To Clear City Hall Camp."
Update, Dec. 1: Another YouTuber has come to the rescue by re-uploading the KCAL9 footage. The cameraman in the video, named Tyson Heder, is said to still be in jail, along with many other protesters. "Please help us raise funds for Tyson's legal fees, bail, replacing his broker camera and possible hospital bills," says a Facebook page called "Free Journalist Tyson Heder Now." CBS has oddly (and kind of creepily) removed the footage of his mauling from its own site as well. Thank god for the Tubes:
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.