No Police Commission Meeting Notes for November 29, 2011
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Officers Clear City Hall Lawn of ‘Occupy LA’ Protesters

Los Angeles: An early morning combined Los Angeles Police Department, Department of General Services Police Department (DGSPD), and Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) operation has cleared out the Occupy LA (OLA) encampment on the grounds of City Hall in downtown Los Angeles.  The encampment began on October 1, 2011, and ended today.   

The police operation utilized approximately 1400 officers, resulting in 292 people arrested during the course of the night.  There were three minor incidents of LAPD officers using force to take suspects who were resisting arrest.  There were no serious injuries to officers or arrestees.

The LAPD and the entire City family reached out to the Occupy LA community from the very first day of the protest.  The goal was to ensure that First Amendment rights were upheld, and the Occupy LA protesters and the rest of the community were kept safe.

The LAPD and the City have worked with the occupiers to ensure they could protest safely.  They have protested in a generally nonviolent manner throughout the past two months.   The City family has said from the beginning that the City Hall location is not sustainable.  Public safety and security at a long-term encampment were an ongoing concern.  Additionally, the City Hall property has been used as a First Amendment area for all residents of our City, and will to be open to all groups again.  

Earlier today, a press conference was held during which Mayor Antonio Villariagosa and Chief Charlie Beck praised the involved LAPD, DGSPD and LAFD personnel for their patience, professionalism and compassion during this operation.

Since Wednesday of last week, OLA has known that the end of the encampment was near.  Signs were posted on Thursday, November 24, and hundreds of flyers were distributed the following Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  Outreach workers have been working with OLA to address social service needs of the people occupying the grounds at City Hall.  

Yesterday, the LAPD made loudspeaker announcements throughout the day and all protesters had notice that the park was closed. The clearing of the park this morning came as no surprise.  All the participants at OLA had a choice to make.  Many of the OLA members decided to move on and continue their protest in another manner.

The closure is not meant to stop or interfere with First Amendment expression by OLA or any other person.  The Mayor has assured that the Spring Street steps on the west side of City Hall will continue to be a place for peaceful protest and public demonstrations.

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has also been actively involved in this operation.  All individuals arrested were taken into custody and are being held in lieu of $5000 bail.

For more information please contact the LAPD Media Relations Section at 213-486-5910.

Comments

The public are the police and the police are the public. Without earned credibility and respect, 10,000 officers could not have done what was done by 1400. The most interesting thing was that the public was also the Media. The mainstream media was hamstrung by their bloated and failing organizations. The best High Definition video and reporting was done by an unemployed guy from the Oakland Occupation with homemade media credentials.

I was so impressed and proud of L.A.P.D. and how Occupy LA eviction was handled. I watched the coverage and was praying for it to end peacefully since you all are just doing your job. Nice job on whomever was in charge of the tactical movement. Element of surprise was great. Nice job and keep up the great work. For what its worth..you all have always had my full support.


I am very upset to hear about the Treatment of protesters. I saw the reason to arrest (for not leaving) but to treat them worse and give them less rights than Rapists, Murderers, Pedophiles ad gang criminals when arrested (i see alot as I live in echo park) is sad. The only way to Petition Congress is by Peacable Assembly, you cant get signatures like at the state level, so to treat them this way is horrid.

CYNTHIA PRICE.......What are you talking about? These hypocrites treated the Law enforcement professionals with utter disdain and disrespect, only to be treated more than fair by the LAPD. To the contrary of how these self proclaimed environmentalists and social misfits left the downtown area in squalid conditions. Shame on you and shame on them, for being such pathetic hypocrites.

Cynthia Price: can you explain exactly how the protestors were treated worse and afforded less rights than Rapists, Murderers, Pedophiles and gang criminals you speak of? I am willing to bet you can't. Typical of your ilk, you speak in generalities and platitudes with no facts behind your words.

JOSEY WHALES.... What are you talking about? Maybe you are too good to drop a deuce in a city planter box.... But not me. I for one think a little dead grass and 30 tons of rubbish is a small price to pay for change that no election can ever bring. I want hope for the hopeless and help for the helpless.....

Ricky T. Wheeler.... Funny, I don't see your name on the list of arrestees. Looks like you dropped a "duece" then ran away like the a coward. NEWS FLASH genius, you changed NOTHING but confirmed many things... Starting with the fact that you are a completely worthless lay-about, with absolutely no substance to contribute to civilization. But then you already know that you are a callow and pathetic loafer. Good job at changing nothing but the top soil at city-hall. I'm sure you mother and father are still not very proud of you.

Shame on anyone in your department who participated in the questionable methods of the destruction of the Occupy LA camp. I personally do not agree with breaking laws in order to make a point, so I was not 'in' the park when this happened but watching from a "legal" vantage point across the street, trying to make sense of the thousand police appearing on the scene. Shame on you for using mainstream media to claim any kind of victory. Shame on the officers who destroyed personal property and physically assaulted occupiers. Shame on you for not serving and protecting the people who are suffering at the hands of this country's corrupt government and financial tyrants. Shame on every single police officer who wasn't aware of what they were doing and why they were called into the park that evening. I hope you wake up. I hope you open your eyes and realize that WE are the 99%. Whoever is reading this, whoever chooses to post or not post this, YOU are the 99%.

"As a reminder, Antonio Villaraigosa has referred to all of this as “the LAPD’s finest hour.” Hilarious. You must have extremely low standards.

My name is Patrick Meighan, and I’m a husband, a father, a writer on the Fox animated sitcom “Family Guy”, and a member of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica.

I was arrested at about 1 a.m. Wednesday morning with 291 other people at Occupy LA. I was sitting in City Hall Park with a pillow, a blanket, and a copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Being Peace” when 1,400 heavily-armed LAPD officers in paramilitary SWAT gear streamed in. I was in a group of about 50 peaceful protestors who sat Indian-style, arms interlocked, around a tent (the symbolic image of the Occupy movement). The LAPD officers encircled us, weapons drawn, while we chanted “We Are Peaceful” and “We Are Nonviolent” and “Join Us.”

As we sat there, encircled, a separate team of LAPD officers used knives to slice open every personal tent in the park. They forcibly removed anyone sleeping inside, and then yanked out and destroyed any personal property inside those tents, scattering the contents across the park. They then did the same with the communal property of the Occupy LA movement. For example, I watched as the LAPD destroyed a pop-up canopy tent that, until that moment, had been serving as Occupy LA’s First Aid and Wellness tent, in which volunteer health professionals gave free medical care to absolutely anyone who requested it. As it happens, my family had personally contributed that exact canopy tent to Occupy LA, at a cost of several hundred of my family’s dollars. As I watched, the LAPD sliced that canopy tent to shreds, broke the telescoping poles into pieces and scattered the detritus across the park. Note that these were the objects described in subsequent mainstream press reports as “30 tons of garbage” that was “abandoned” by Occupy LA: personal property forcibly stolen from us, destroyed in front of our eyes and then left for maintenance workers to dispose of while we were sent to prison.

When the LAPD finally began arresting those of us interlocked around the symbolic tent, we were all ordered by the LAPD to unlink from each other (in order to facilitate the arrests). Each seated, nonviolent protester beside me who refused to cooperate by unlinking his arms had the following done to him: an LAPD officer would forcibly extend the protestor’s legs, grab his left foot, twist it all the way around and then stomp his boot on the insole, pinning the protestor’s left foot to the pavement, twisted backwards. Then the LAPD officer would grab the protestor’s right foot and twist it all the way the other direction until the non-violent protestor, in incredible agony, would shriek in pain and unlink from his neighbor.

It was horrible to watch, and apparently designed to terrorize the rest of us. At least I was sufficiently terrorized. I unlinked my arms voluntarily and informed the LAPD officers that I would go peacefully and cooperatively. I stood as instructed, and then I had my arms wrenched behind my back, and an officer hyperextended my wrists into my inner arms. It was super violent, it hurt really really bad, and he was doing it on purpose. When I involuntarily recoiled from the pain, the LAPD officer threw me face-first to the pavement. He had my hands behind my back, so I landed right on my face. The officer dropped with his knee on my back and ground my face into the pavement. It really, really hurt and my face started bleeding and I was very scared. I begged for mercy and I promised that I was honestly not resisting and would not resist.

My hands were then zipcuffed very tightly behind my back, where they turned blue. I am now suffering nerve damage in my right thumb and palm.

A d v e r t i s e m e n t

I was put on a paddywagon with other nonviolent protestors and taken to a parking garage in Parker Center. They forced us to kneel on the hard pavement of that parking garage for seven straight hours with our hands still tightly zipcuffed behind our backs. Some began to pass out. One man rolled to the ground and vomited for a long, long time before falling unconscious. The LAPD officers watched and did nothing.

At 9 a.m. we were finally taken from the pavement into the station to be processed. The charge was sitting in the park after the police said not to. It’s a misdemeanor. Almost always, for a misdemeanor, the police just give you a ticket and let you go. It costs you a couple hundred dollars. Apparently, that’s what happened with most every other misdemeanor arrest in LA that day.

With us Occupy LA protestors, however, they set bail at $5,000 and booked us into jail. Almost none of the protesters could afford to bail themselves out. I’m lucky and I could afford it, except the LAPD spent all day refusing to actually *accept* the bail they set. If you were an accused murderer or a rapist in LAPD custody that day, you could bail yourself right out and be back on the street, no problem. But if you were a nonviolent Occupy LA protestor with bail money in hand, you were held long into the following morning, with absolutely no access to a lawyer.

I spent most of my day and night crammed into an eight-man jail cell, along with sixteen other Occupy LA protesters. My sleeping spot was on the floor next to the toilet.

Finally, at 2:30 the next morning, after twenty-five hours in custody, I was released on bail. But there were at least 200 Occupy LA protestors who couldn’t afford the bail. The LAPD chose to keep those peaceful, non-violent protesters in prison for two full days… the absolute legal maximum that the

The Occuppy XX is more likely the .99%. The rest of the country is the 99%. Nothing I've heard so far from these appropriators of public property for their own use, is something I agree with.

I guess now, since I disagree with them, I'll be called names. Let's have it.

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