Occupy Claims LAPD Kicked Suspect at Chalk Walk / Art Walk Clash (VIDEO)
Occupy LA organizers claim police went over the line in confrontations with Chalk Walk demonstrators at Art Walk last Thursday night -- and that video proves it.
mpeake / Flickr An injured man at Thursday's 'Chalk Walk.'
They say a skateboard-carrying man was shot with a non-lethal around and then kicked by cops. Officers "smash his face into the pavement," occupiers said.
But the two YouTube clips they provided (at the bottom) don't seem to prove a thing.
The video indeed depicts the skater getting shot by a non-lethal round and soon being surrounded by officers, but we can't see where he was allegedly kicked. He is pushed down, face down, by the cops, a move that's not against policy.
A second video is also cited as evidence of abuse by police, but it's hard to tell what's happening.
In any case, a long Facebook statement by Occupy Los Angeles describes the LAPD deployment of anti-riot tactics as a gross overreaction and as a violation of the group's freedom of speech.
At the heart of the clash was the "chalking" done by Occupy members as part of "Chalk Walk" festivities during the monthly Art Walk that organizers say have been happening since the occupation of City Hall started in October.
Cops arrested people who wrote messages in chalk that read "I love the world," and "heart the police," Occupy says.
Occupy / Chalk Walk
The organization says never before has the LAPD reacted this way, and it calls into question the legality of claiming that chalking is vandalism.
On Friday LAPD Chief Charlie Beck defended his officers' actions, telling reporters (via 89.3 KPCC) that "chalking" is "defacing public property."
He said demonstrators escalated the confrontation by throwing rocks and bottles at cops when they were told to stop chalking: