Officers involved in a Hollywood clash with bicyclists protesting British Petroleum's role in the Gulf oil spill over the weekend have been removed from duty as the Los Angeles Police Department continued to investigate the incident, Fox 11 News reported.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck showed up at a meeting of the City Council's Bicycle Advisory Committee Tuesday night, a gathering that appeared to be dominated by talk of the Friday night clash on Hollywood Boulevard near Highland Avenue. A video clip of the incident appears to show one officer throwing a kick at a rider while at least two others seemed to have tackled the videographer for reasons unknown.
Beck assured the cycling crowd that the LAPD is responsive to its needs. The department took “immediate action based on information received from this community,” the chief said.
“The chief of police and I pledged our strong support to work closely with the bike community and that promise has not wavered,” stated LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger after the clash.
Some bike riders also alleged that officers stuck batons in the spokes of bicyclists, officers drove squad cars into the mass of a few hundred riders, and some bike enthusiasts were pulled from their rides for no reason.
The group Los Angeles Critical Mass organized the nighttime ride to a BP station in Beverly Hills. Estimates on the number of participants ranged from 400 to 1,000 pedal pushers.