Monday, February 4, 2008
L.A.P.D. Detains W.R.A.P. members for crossing street
Under Safer Cities, LAPD has been using parole status – both legally and illegally – to increase harassment and arrests of downtown residents and to incite fear of low-income community residents. On Friday, LAPD planned a parole raid on a hotel near 5th and Towne. There were at least 30 LAPD officers and 10 parole agents on site. Someone called our office and Pete and Gerald went to document the raid. Pete had the camera and within minutes of being there and taking pictures, was cuffed and against the wall, and was publicly detained for more than 20 minutes. He repeatedly asked for a supervisor and for officers’ cards and got none. Dogon arrived with a second camera and began documenting the illegal detention. Within minutes of him filming, he was also cuffed and up against the wall. They ran him for warrants and claimed they found a felony warrant – one officer told Dogon – “we really got you now.” Of course later, they claimed it was a “mistake” – it was a different Richardson. When they released Dogon, still on the sidewalk, they also gave him a ticket stating, “observed pedestrian cross street against don’t walk sign,” although Dogon had arrived on a bicycle. Instead of releasing Pete on-site, they transported him to Central Station. When he got there, followed by 6 additional officers, they told him he was being charged with “walking in the roadway” and he needed to sign the citation to leave. Needless to say, he didn’t sign, since he didn’t commit that offense and that was not why they detained and transported him. They booked him and he spent the day at 77th Street jail.