Cyclists, LAPD -- even Chief Beck -- Meet to Discuss Use of Force Caught on Video
If there was any theme to last night's large meeting between cyclists and the LAPD, it was that there is a growing distrust of the police force. Nonetheless, officers and leadership vowed that a recent use of force incident that's made headlines this week will only make the their relationship stronger. About 75 people showed up to the city's Bicycle Advisory Committee at the Hollywood city hall for a three-hour meeting that ranged from emotions to explanations to next steps.
"I think that the true measure of [the relationship between the LAPD and cyclists is] how we work together on this incident or any other," said Chief Beck, who made a surprise appearance. "What I tell people all the time is that, police work by nature will have conflict, and it's not whether they occur or not, it's how you resolve them -- that is the test: how a police department works with its community."
Commander Jorge Villegas, who is assigned to work on cycling issues, said four officers have been put on inside duty without public contact after an incident last Friday night was caught on video and posted to YouTube. In it, it appears an officer is kicking towards, but misses, a cyclist riding with hundreds of others during a Critical Mass ride on Hollywood Boulevard. The videographer, who then screams at the officer, is tackled to the ground by other officers. Public outcry began immediately the next morning when Internal Affairs, which has taken over the investigation, was called out.