REP LIEU CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO LAPD USE OF FORCE AGAINST PROTESTORS
LOS ANGELES - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) sent a letter to the President of the Los Angeles Police Commission urging her to investigate instances that appear to show uniformed LAPD officers physically assaulting people gathering to protest police violence. The letter follows news reports and videos posted to social media that show police using batons, rubber bullets and a chemical spray against protestors, some of whom appear to be retreating.
In the letter, Mr. Lieu writes:
Dear Commission President Decker:
Thank you for your service. I am writing regarding deeply troubling incidents that recently occurred when protestors gathered in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles in my congressional district. News reports and disturbing social media footage taken by eyewitnesses appear to show uniformed members of the Los Angeles Police Department physically assaulting protestors (some of whom were retreating) with batons, rubber bullets and some sort of chemical spray.
During these difficult times, as our nation and this city tackle generations of targeted violence by civilians and police against Black Americans, the gathering of people to express their views and concerns should not be met with more violence. Americans of all colors and creeds are seeing that racism and white supremacy are problems we cannot ignore. And yet as our neighbors and communities gather to express these concerns they are met with further violence. It is vital to our democracy that Americans be able to live without fear of not only expressing their views but also when interacting with police.
I request you to investigate these incidents immediately and make any appropriate referrals. I also request that you conduct a review of use of force policies in general, and specifically with regards to protests, as well as the training that LAPD officers receive on use of force.
It is critical that the rights of all Americans in Los Angeles be protected no matter if they are at their domicile, their place of work or worship, or if they are gathering to express their views. Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to your response.
Ted W. Lieu
Member of Congress