Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa this week said he was disturbed and disappointed after viewing video of an apparent clash between police and bike riders in Hollywood May 28 in which an officer threw a kick toward a bicylist and two or three other cops allegedly went after the videographer.

” … I was very disappointed to hear about the confrontation in Hollywood on May 28,” he said. “The video from that night is disturbing.”

Villaraigosa said he had “complete confidence” in Chief Charlie Beck's ability to handle the situation.

“Bicyclists have every right to use our City streets and to be treated with courtesy and respect–both by drivers and law enforcement,” he said. “I fully support LAPD Chief Charlie Beck's efforts to improve the relationship between cyclists and police officers.”

The clash happened as a group called Critical Mass staged an impromptu ride to protest British Petroleum's role in the Gulf oil spill. At least 400 riders joined the demonstration, and several apparently went through a red light at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, prompting at least a few officers to take action.

The man who videotaped the kick says he was tackled and kicked by officers who then tried to smash the iPhone used to record the video. He has filed a claim against the LAPD and the city.

LA Weekly