Police Brutality Dampens L.A. Rally

By The News May 03, 2007

Just a day after L.A. commemorated the lives impacted by the city’s "riots" 15 years ago, the Los Angeles Police used excessive and belligerent force against immigration protesters. CBS News reported:

Police Chief William J. Bratton said Wednesday some of the police tactics to clear immigration protesters from a park were "inappropriate," as numerous news videos showed officers striking people with batons and firing rubber bullets into crowds that included children.

After a peaceful day of immigration marches, Los Angeles police say a small group in a downtown park pelted them with rocks and bottles, reports CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker. Police responded with force.

Amid the cries and chaos, photographers were kicked, their camera’s tossed. KCBS cameraman Carl Stein was knocked to the ground. So was reporter Mark Coogan.

"This is strictly my opinion," Coogan told Whitaker. "It was utterly uncalled for. It was overkill to the nth degree."

Some injured people were seen in the videos, including a Hispanic man with a bleeding welt on his stomach.

Bratton promised an investigation, and said he would discuss the matter further at a news conference later Wednesday.

"Quite frankly, I was disturbed at what I saw," Bratton told KNX-AM. He said the actions of some officers "were inappropriate in terms of use of batons and possible use of non-lethal rounds fired."