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LAPD Launches Investigation of Use of Force Against Cyclists Captured on Video

Photo by Lucyrk in LA via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Thanks to video captured Friday night, some of LAPD's Hollywood Area bike unit officers are under scrutiny by LAPD internal affairs following complaints raised by bicyclists participating in a group ride organized in protest of the BP oil spill. The bicyclists are questioning the officers' use of excessive force during the ride, and the LAPD has announced via a statement that they are pursuing the matter internally.

“In response to what we learned, we immediately launched a full-scale investigation to determine the facts surrounding the events,” said LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger. “The Departments Professional Standards Bureau has taken the lead in the inquiry and the Police Commission’s Inspector General has also been made fully aware of the matter.”

The LAPD explains that the officers on duty were conducting a regular patrol at Hollywood and Highland, and that "[a]s part of enforcement efforts, LAPD Officers were watching for red light violations, and issuing citations." On video, while at least one cyclist appeared to be detained, an officer can be seen kicking at a passing bicycle. When the rider making the video shouted in objection he was taken down by two officers and ordered to simultaneously "get down" and "get up."