Yesterday's march and rally for immigration reform lasted all day in Los Angeles and was peaceful until the evening, when a handful of protesters threw bottles and rocks at LAPD officers. The police, predictably, overreacted, firing rubber bullets without warning into the crowd at the MacArthur Park rally and generally pushing, shoving and night-sticking anyone in their way. No one should have to suffer police brutality, ever, but I have to say I was pleased to see that this time the LAPD inexplicably chose to unleash itself on the local Fox News crew! Here is reporter Christina Gonzalez's report as it aired on the Fox local news last night, after anchorman John Beard's statement that "The marches were peaceful until this evening when the LAPD used force to break up the crowd":
Much of the same footage is now posted on the Fox News web site here but with some critical differences. Ms. Gonzalez's introductory remarks pointing out that the police had attacked "a permitted rally" have been omitted along with all of her on-camera account showing her evident but professionally contained shock and anger. Instead, the event is ambiguously introduced as an "illegal immigration march." Nor does the Fox News coverage include Ms. Gonzalez's report that she heard officers shout as they ran past her: "Double time! It's tussle time!" Ironically, the national version also cuts out Ms. Gonzalez's assertion that we need to watch the (then unedited) video so we could make up our own minds.
L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has asked Police Chief William Bratton not to join him on a trade mission in El Salvador as originally planned, but instead to stay home and look into the use of force at the rally.
Here is a wrap-up of the incident from the LA Times.