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LAPD Face Bottles, Rocks in Violent Protest

LAPD Face Bottles, Rocks in Violent Protest

Police manage a group of counter-protesters as National Socialist Movement rally participants are escorted to their cars. Some in the crowd threw rocks and bottles at the neo-Nazis and police. [AP]

Associated Press

April 18, 2010

LOS ANGELES – A rally of about 40 white supremacists Saturday on the lawn of Los Angeles City Hall drew hundreds of counter-protesters, sparked brawls in which two people were severely beaten and ended with crowds of demonstrators hurling rocks and bottles at police and departing supremacists.

The rally, conducted by the National Socialist Movement, prompted the Los Angeles Police Department to go on tactical alert as counter-protesters from throughout the region flooded into downtown L.A. They included a wide assortment of African American, Jewish, Latino, immigrants-rights and anarchist groups.

While some counter-protesters said they had heard about the event through social media such as Twitter and had come to urge peace in the face of the group’s hateful message, others had clearly come for a fight. At least five of them were arrested by the end of the demonstration for throwing eggs and rocks.

Before members of the white supremacist group had arrived, a bare-chested middle-aged man with Nazi insignias tattooed on his chest and back walked into a crowd of hundreds of counter-protesters gathered near 1st and Spring streets.

Surrounded, the man mockingly bobbed his head to the rhythm of demonstrators chanting “Nazi scum.” About a dozen protesters suddenly began pelting the man with punches and kicks. He fell and was struck on the back with the wooden handle of a protester’s sign, which snapped in two. Police eventually reached the man and pulled him from the melee, as blood poured from the back of his neck.

Another man was rushed by a mob on Spring Street. He was punched in the face and kicked for about 20 seconds before police made it to the scene. After that beating was broken up, the man began running south on Spring Street, only to be chased down by a protester and slugged in the face. He collapsed and his face slammed to the curb as protesters began pummeling him again.

The bloodied man was then escorted away by police. Both victims were treated and released, police said.

His sign, unclear in its intended meaning, read “Christianity=Paganism=Heathen$” with an arrow pointing at a swastika.

“Gosh, I think he just didn’t have a clear message. I don’t even think he was a Nazi,” said one man, looking at the broken pieces of the sign left behind.

The neo-Nazi group had obtained a permit for its demonstration earlier in the week, and police prepared the rally area by taping off a section of City Hall’s shaded south lawn. About 12:30 p.m., members began delivering anti-immigrant tirades and shouts of “Sieg Heil” that echoed down the street.

“We are tired of you clogging up our streets,” shouted one white supremacist.

Another group member repeatedly denounced illegal immigrants, saying, “If the city supports illegal aliens and criminals, that is treason.”

A counter-protester shouted back with a bullhorn.

“You’re being protected by black and Latino cops, you cowards!” she said.

The rally ended around 2:30 p.m. with counter-protesters rushing toward the criminal courts building parking lot where the white supremacists had parked their cars. Dozens of them hurled rocks and glass bottles at the neo-Nazis and their police escorts.

One vehicle failed to start. As a group of white supremacists attempted to jump-start the car, others raised swastika-emblazoned shields over their heads to protect themselves from projectiles. After the white supremacists left, police allowed the crowds to dissipate.

Cmdr. David Doan said the LAPD’s goal was to protect free speech and avoid using force. “There was a tremendous amount of restraint shown by our officers,” he said. “We allowed both sides to exercise their 1st Amendment rights.”

Doan said it was a frustrating situation for LAPD officers. “We took some rocks and bottles when they arrived, and we took some again when the car had some trouble starting.”

  • Here_and_there_052_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Excuse me, photog90027, but what part of the law enforcement community do you represent? I hope I'm mistaken, but it appears you've joined PoliceLink in order to skim information/opinions on law enforcement related issues contained on PoliceLink. And, yes, you might be providing a different view of some incidents that are discussed on this link, but , in this last example, you miss the point by a wide margin: whether the LAPD pulled the man from the crowd or not, the article states that he intentionally moved into the crowd himself. This is common among groups hoping for a confrontation, in order to garner support for their otherwise unsupportable positions. I would've been much more interested in hearing your take on this as a media representative, as opposed to who did or didn't defend this cretin.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    "Surrounded, the man mockingly bobbed his head to the rhythm of demonstrators chanting “Nazi scum.” About a dozen protesters suddenly began pelting the man with punches and kicks. He fell and was struck on the back with the wooden handle of a protester’s sign, which snapped in two. Police eventually reached the man and pulled him from the melee, as blood poured from the back of his neck."

    Police/LAPD did not stop the man from getting pummeled whatsoever. They never got involved in the first beating. Rather a single undercover federal agent rescued the man from the attack and brought him across the police tape where LAPD took over and brought the man further back into the taped off area.

    There's photos of the beating here. You'll see the one single agent protecting the man from his attackers.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    I was a photographer on scene. The rocks and bottles were aimed at the nazis; not LAPD. I was actually in between the Nazi's and counter-nazi's (sorry, but both groups are racists; some violent and some not) when the bottles and rocks started flying as the white nazis were trying to get their car started.

    One rock missed my head by inches. Again, LAPD was not even in this location. They were on the street holding the counter-nazis back from entering the parking lot—which is where the bottles and rocks were landing because they were being thrown from the street.

    Not sure why Commander Doan made a remark as if the rocks and bottles were directed at LAPD when that's not true

    Kudos to LAPD though for showing great restraint throughout the day.

    LAPD needs to allow the media to roam freely though rather than trapping us into one section. Otherwise, we can't get the full story or any good images.

    Police must remember in cases like this the media is not a threat to them. We just want to get all stories told.

  • Masonb2_max50


    over 4 years ago


    it's hard not to throw things at nazis..i'm just saying...

  • Copy_of_marine_photo_edited_edited_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Good job LAPD, this is the kind of professionalism we need to show the public.

  • Evgeni_nabokov_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Good work . . .

    Every time I see a KKK rally I always think of the Illinois Nazi's from the Blues Brothers Movie.

  • Fountain_apprec_lunch_10-24-07__3__max600_max50


    over 4 years ago


    LAPD not all civs hate I am sorry for the publics sick display and would like it known I have the utmost respect for all Police Officers

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Great Job Guys.

  • 1393794_10151798561878138_392793313_n_max50


    over 4 years ago



  • Flags_and_stars_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Excellent job by the LAPD!!!!

  • Larry_apache_dist_13_max50


    over 4 years ago


    National Socialist Movement vs National Communist Movement, don't they know they have the same agenda. In the famous words of "Rodney" can't we all just get along!!!!!!!

  • Dnc_shirt_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Great job by LAPD!!!

  • Me_5_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Nobody has the right to state, not even judges, "that anyone has to submit to being assaulted by projectiles!" No sensible judge in their right mind would ever render such an opinion without hearing some negative feedback from the higher courts and the law enforcement community. Its not our job to stand there and be targets!

  • Car6_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Good job officers, it would be a difficult situation.

  • 1051193310_l_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I fear mkiprotection is not to far off base with his thoughts

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