Protesters planned to march outside the LAPD's Rampart Division station in Westlake today in a show of solidarity with demonstrators who have been clashing with police in Anaheim over a rash of deadly officer-involved shootings in that city to the south.
LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman told the Weekly that no special preparations beyond a normal response to an everyday demonstration were planned by local cops.
A department official told KNX 1070 Newsradio that …
… officers observing the event would not be in riot gear unless things escalated. Eisenman said that only 30 people were expected at the 5 p.m. protest.
Organizers don't have a permit for the march, she said, but it does appear to us that the LAPD, at least for now, plans to stand down and let them demonstrate. Cops would be on bikes monitoring the festivities, according to Eisenman.
There have been three officer involved shootings in the last week or so in Anaheim. Many of its citizens feel that the police department there has a shoot-first-ask-later policy when it comes to dealing with Latino suspects.
Video of police unleashing a dog that then marches toward a woman and her stroller at an anti-police demonstration last weekend set of a national firestorm over Anaheim police tactics and fueled at least two subsequent nights of protests, one of which descended into minor rioting.
Hacker group Anonymous and the Occupy movement have rallied to support the Anaheim demonstrators, and events have also been planned in New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Oakland and elsewhere.