Hollywood LAPD Assault / Harass Cyclists on LA Critical Mass

By Jeremy Grant

(video by manueldogg)

Already know what happened and want to do something about it? Click here to skip to the end of the article to find out what next steps you can take.

Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood

Friday May 28, 2010 Los Angeles Critical Mass took to the crowded streets with hundreds of riders demonstrating their right and freedom to ride. After a full calendar of Bike Week events, endorsements, and excitement the close to Bike Month ended with the harsh reality that cyclists must persist with the fight for equal protection on the streets. You would think after a public service announcement by Chief Beck, progress with operations notices supporting cyclists and a new cyclist’s rights education module the LAPD would take a moment before going back to their old ways of harassing cyclists.

You would think, right?

As Critical Mass was making it’s way east along Hollywood Blvd. (near Highland Ave.) to end the ride they were met with a contingent of LAPD Officers armed with batons kicking and tackling cyclists off their bikes. Officers drove squad cars into the crowd of riders. Some cyclists were even stopped in their tracks and flung from their bike with a baton stuck in the spokes (a la Breaking Away). These cyclists were then brutalized, handcuffed and then cited for small infractions such as no lights or not obeying traffic laws. From the video above you can see that cyclists were taking the lane legally, riding slowly; it seems as if they were simply targeted for being last to ride up on the scene of a poorly defined ‘incident’. At no point was the mass of riders identified as an illegal assembly or addressed with a formal dispersal order. In fact: officers employed the use of force to effect dispersal (which is against LAPD policy and illegal). The events are chronicled on the internet as many riders use Twitter:

While all this was going on a cyclist decided to stop and take a video of the events as they unfolded. He was then tackled by a few police officers, given conflicting orders to comply and then detained: all while officers smirked at their own dirty deeds. The attack aimed to stifle our basic rights to a free press which can provide oversight over the brutality expressed by the Los Angeles Police Department. It was a dark night in LA Critical Mass history. It was a direct assault that demonstrates that the LAPD will take violent measures to operate free and clear of the constraints of public scrutiny. Furthermore, the events captured on this video are violation of the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, the California Constitution, and California state law.

It doesn’t just stop there…

There was great difficulty in contacting the Hollywood Precinct to report a crime had occurred. Stephen Box called and spoke to the Watch Commander who would not take a telephonic report or complaint, would not initiate an investigation over the phone and then hung up on him four times. One does not have to be a victim or a witness to report a crime or something suspicious is going on. The LAPD has a defined responsibility to take a telephonic report — most especially when it involves a crime committed by some of their own officers. LAPD depends heavily on citizen assistance in reporting crimes and provides a diverse list of phone numbers on their website to contact. Plainly stated: you do not need to report a crime in person. This is yet another criminal method LAPD is using to operate without the public’s oversight.

How can be sure these gross civil injustices will be addressed by the LAPD, LA City Council and the Public at Large?

1. EMAIL: If you are a witness or a victim of the police brutality that went down on the night of Friday, May 28, 2010 at LACM you should contact Alex Thompson, President of Bikeside LA via email: alexcthompson@gmail.com or anyone else you may know from BikesideLA.org

2. WEB: If you are a witness or a victim please submit a confidential incident report to LABikeMap.Com. You can file the report as a ‘harassment’ or ‘collision’.

3. IN PERSON: If you are a witness, a victim, or just generally concerned with LAPD’s infringement on cyclist’s rights please attend and give public comment at the LA City Council’s Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting taking place this Tuesday, June 1, 2010, 7pm at Hollywood Neighborhood City Hall, 6501 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles, CA

Bikeside LA will be at the Bicycle Advisory Committee presenting the Backbone Bikeway Network which just so happens to include this section of Hollywood Blvd where the police brutality took place. The Backbone is committed to connecting the community and it’s services to provide for and protect cyclist rights to the road. Education, as a component of the Backbone, is tasked to enhance the LAPD’s knowledge base and interaction with cyclists across the many communities within the City of Los Angeles. If you show up to support the many cyclists that were viciously attacked please also offer your support for the Backbone Bikeway Network as a method of improving our relationship with the Los Angeles Police Department.

After all, we want to be known as the CITY WITH A BACKBONE — not broken backbones!

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43 Responses to “Hollywood LAPD Assault / Harass Cyclists on LA Critical Mass”

  1. Great report, Jeremy. Thanks for this.

    I’m looking forward to seeing the eyewitness reports, and hopefully some comments directly from the arrested and/or attacked parties.

    Besides this video, which is obviously damning of the LAPD, all I’ve heard is a lot of heresay, so it’s difficult to determine what actually happened.

    I was there as we rode into Hollywood, where many riders became especially aggressive and provocative when the LAPD rolled in. Based on that, and the huge turn-out spanning multiple city blocks (and frankly not all riders were riding legally) these incidents aren’t all that surprising.

    In any event, if police brutality did occur, obviously some officers crossed the line.

    While I didn’t see any incidents of brutality, I did stop to talk to one cyclist in cuffs to ask if he was okay. He said he was fine and that there was no problem.

    We (cyclists) have a seriously dysfunctional relationship with the LAPD, especially in dealing with group rides which are perfectly legal.

    IMHO it’s going to take education of both cyclists, and officers to get things moving forward.

  2. You are a bunch of ass clowns. You are not grounded in my reality; one that I, a minumum wage earner due to a disability (i=I;m dependent on a device to send this) was on a MTA bus that could not get through your stupid “critical (m)ass). What a bunch of self-involved pricks. I don’t care what LAPD did to you, it couldn’t have been enough as I was WAY late for work and am now in danger of losing the ony employment I’ve had for years. I only wish I could ride a bike. Go back to your lattes; 99% of you wouldn’t ride a bike to work half the time even if there were no cars allowed on the road. Meanwhile. don’t upset my ability to get around because of your self-importance. Go work at a homeless shelter or rehab hospital!

  3. Jerry,

    Quite a lot of the riders who ride on Critical Mass ‘DO’ commute to work via bicycle on a daily basis. A quick look at any of the LA cycling websites will show that there is a large community of cycling commuters. Many of them also use public transportation. I myself regularly cycle and use the LA Metro Red Line to get to work. Furthermore, there is absolutely no way that you can look at the people on the ride and conclude they are “latte drinkers.” Large contingents of riders converged from the SFV, East LA, South Central, the South Bay, from right there in DTLA … the vast majority of riders are blue-collar just like you.

  4. I call BS on the south LA (where I live) and eastside riders. The same judgment you use for the oppressors, i.e., white, is what I see in your critical mass. Not a minority like me in sight. On the bus, except for homeless, elderly poor, or the like I rarely see medium/upper classs folks on buses (whichI ride 2-4 times daily). I see “urban adventurers,” who look like what I saw in critical mass; 20-30 yr old self-important, ungrounded intellectual fools. I refer to my earlier reamrks. Oh, yeah, you Jack, are a saint. BTW the Red Line caters exactly to the population I speak of; Westlake/silverlake/Wilshire district “urban adventurers,” who try to wear the badge that they are down with the people. Where was your bike made? Child/abusive labor much?

  5. Ah, didn’t post my last comment. Hypocrite much? I don’t have time for this; you screwed up my day enough. I wish no hate, which unfortunately, I think you hold a lot of in your individual hearts. Back to work for me (and dependent on the morning bus).

  6. How can anyone call BS on eastside riders?

  7. Joe, Jack and Jeremy, (What’s up with all the J’s?)
    I work in LA and I don’t know how many CM rides and riders I’ve encountered but its been ALOT. Generally, the riders I’ve met have been ok, but when they get together, like many large groups, it’s easy for a “mob mentality” to take over. I never seen a CM ride where i did not see a huge number of dangerous, selfish, aggressive traffic violators that do not care at all about other people’s rights on the road. All you have to do is see a redlight, and then dozens to hundreds to maybe thousands of riders just keep on trucking through, not worried at all that their rude, illegal, dangerous, and selfish actions do absolutely NOTHING for there cause. I understand its a bit of a protest and an exercise of your “right” to ride. But your “right” is to have equal access to, (not the only access to), ride LEGALLY and SAFELY ALONG WITH other vehicle and pedestrian traffic, both of which you do not do. Even if motorists’s do not provide cyclists courtesy on the rode, just like you would tell a small child when they act immature, “two wrongs do not make a right”

    I will not support Los Angeles Critical Mass at all and will actively oppose any measure that benefits LACM until LACM and their “backbone” educate their OWN members with the right ways to further their own cause.

    Sorry but I’m a rider myself.

  8. Jerry,

    First of all, who said anything about “oppressors” or me passing judgment on any racial group? I’m not sure where you got that from but that is not what Critical Mass is about. From my perspective (I was on the ride) the majority of riders were Latino/Hispanic but I don’t pretend to have conducted a racial survey of the ride nor do I have any interest in doing so. I would definitely challenge your assertion that the ride was wholly made up of Whites though.

    There are several group rides in East LA and South Central. In S. Central there is a group ride originating at the King Taco on 3rd St. tomorrow (Sunday) night at 8:00 PM. It rides through City Terrace, Boyle Heights, Alhambra, Monterey Park and East LA. I feel confident in saying that ride is almost entirely made up of people who actually live in the area (based on my experiences). In East LA, the Eastside Bike Club is one of the biggest bicycle groups in the city. There were feeder rides from both of these areas to Critical Mass last night.

    I’m not an “urban adventurer.” I was born and raised in LA. I ride the Red Line because my work place is conveniently close to one of the stations. I use my bike to get to my first station and to get around during the day as I need to. I never said I was a “saint” or anything like that. I think you’re projecting or assuming things about me?

    All I said in my initial post was that Critical Mass (and cyclists in LA in general) are a very diverse group and many of us do in fact use our bikes to commute to work. Many of those who currently don’t would like to, but happen to live in areas where doing so is difficult due to the lack of bicycle lanes or dangerous road conditions. Part of the reason for Critical Mass is to raise awareness over these issues and encourage proactive work on the part of municipalities. By the way, nearly every single cyclist in the city that I have met is in favor of expanding and raising the quality of public transportation. Cycling and public transportation go hand-in-hand in terms of expanding access to transportation through the city, making the roads safer and ending the problem of gridlock. More bicycle lanes means safer through-ways for cyclists which equals more cyclists (and thus, less cars on the road) and less accidents (since riders don’t have to weave through traffic).

    I will say that I noticed a few riders yell out rude things at people standing on the sidewalk or in cars last night. All I can say is that those people do not represent the vast majority of cyclists on Critical Mass or on the road at any time. There will be jerks in any crowd that size. Hopefully the video posted above will help people understand why cyclists can be so defensive sometimes.

  9. Thanks for the fantastic report of everything Jeremy – great writing!

    To Jerry: Usually I don’t respond to any negative comments that come across these blogs, but I just want to say I am sorry for any time inconvenience that was caused to you Friday night. I have worked for my fair share of nasty bosses who hold my employment over my head for the slightest late arrival. Hopefully if you have a positive track record, extenuating circumstances can be taken into account.

    But I just want to say that CM, is a great way to get to know the cyclists in the community – we are not all one race, age, gender, career, or coalition. We are simply cyclists. We ride these streets just like you in the bus, and unfortunately we don’t have anything around us to protect us from injury. All it takes is one hit, tap, swipe or jeer to make us go down and cause major injury that can keep us from our jobs just like you – and unfortunately all over the world, cyclists are killed everyday. CM is our way of telling drivers in cars, busses, trucks and whomever that we are traffic and we are human beings. It doesn’t matter who we are or how much money we make. We are human beings.

    On Friday’s CM, like I see every CM – there are recreational riders, racers, commuters, students, lawyers, triathletes, kids, veterans and even minimum wage workers who depend on their bike to get to and from work. They were from every race and every age group. I even saw a guy missing one leg who was on a hand powered custom built recumbent bike.

    It’s not about self importance, its about safety.

    No matter who you or I are, neither of us deserve to be treated the way the LAPD treated us on Friday.

  10. Critical Mass is fun, exciting and it gets people involved. Not all tactics are for everyone, but just because you don’t support a tactic doesn’t mean it is ineffective.
    Critical Mass is a celebration. A parade without permits. Most pedestrians, motorists and cyclists get this and they cheer it on. Let a little unregulated fun into your life, the world will be a better place.
    As for the LAPD: this is nothing new. They hate fun. Protecting automobile traffic is a high priority. How sad.

  11. Darrell Robertson May 30th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    The video shows absolutely NOTHING! Critical Mass is Critical CRAP

  12. While your report is disturbing (pending confirmation of the facts), I regret to say that critical Mass had it coming. I’m a biker myself, and am gettig seriously fed up with Critical Mass’ overall mo-fo attitude during their night rides. They’re not helping promote biking on the streets, to the contrary — they make us all bikers less safe. They storm the streets and sidewalks, block traffic, ignore traffic lights and signs, insult passers by, and are a real danger to pedestrians and to themselves. The road belongs to everyone. But the rules of the road appy to everyone, too. Until they understand that, they’ll keep having problems with the cops, and bigger game drivers.

  13. Sorry Laure, you couldn’t be more wrong. There is no excuse for this type of behavior by the police for what are just minor traffic violations. The last LACM I did a couple of months ago a female officer attempted to pull me off my bike without warning in a desolate part of downtown with no traffic or pedestrians around. I was riding at least 15mph because I was behind the main pack trying to catch up and I was riding completely legally. If she had succeeded in pulling down at that speed I could have been seriously injured and the city would be up against an expensive lawsuit.

  14. Jerry, your post is so full of BS it’s hard to give anything else you say any credence.

    1) I ride the bus as does my girlfriend. ANYTHING can happen with our pathetic MTA, being delayed by a group bicycle ride is the least of my worries. If you’re worried about being late to work, start getting on an early bus. Stop blaming others for your tardiness, bosses hear those lame excuses every day, mine told me the same advice I just gave you.

    2) You must have selective vision or something because LACM has the exact same racial mix as our city. “Not a minority like me in sight.” Unless you’re from Mars or a planet from some other galaxy you’re just flat out lying.

  15. The Voice of “Radical Ronnie”:

    I am a minister, and I deemed it appropriate to share with you my experience at Friday’s Critical Mass on the corner of Wilshire and Western. I took the Red Line from North Hollywood and arrived at around 7:15 p.m., placing myself amoung the participants planning to leave at 7:30.

    As 7:30 p.m. approached, all of a sudden, bam, my bicycle was rear-end by Metro Bus # 9590, License # 1298398, Line 720, Bus Run 38. I had not even moved my bicycle from the location I was awaiting on the sidewalk. What had happened was Bus # 9590 traveling west-bound on Wilshire hit the curvature of my back wheel extending over curb, resulting in totally mangling the rear of my bike, taking me out of the ride.

    Keep in mind that every square inch of the sidewalk was covered by perhaps a thousand of us bicyclist. Gee, had anyone had been standing at thet curb and their toes extended beyond the curb, or if they had a suitcase, or was pointing to something across the street, they would have been in danger of being hit. In this case, I was the victim. I had to call for a transporting vehicle back to Valley because my bike was totally inoperable.

    These bus operators must learn to be more careful of us bicyclist. Had this bus been any closer, it would have had to jump the curb to hit us. I am now in the position of seeking a remedy. Any recommendations or assistance would be appreciated. Telephone number supplied upon request. Thank you.

    Ron Branson
    BeholdTheMan@Live.com

  16. Jerry,

    I must second the statements above that Critical Mass is always a very diverse crowd. in the City of LA more than 70% of the population is Latino(a) and the same goes for LACM. I would also like to say that 500 cyclists take about 5-8 minutes to go past wherever your bus was. What was causing you to be late was LAPD causing a scene (not cyclists) and the automobile traffic that congested the streets–not the cyclist traffic. As usual, it’s easy to blame cyclists.

    All this aside, I hope that your boss was understanding and that your employment was not affected. Good luck.

  17. Ok, I was really thinking I’d get some pretty lame responses to my earlier post. Maybe even someone pointing out a couple of my speling/grammer :) mistakes. But as you can see (zero responses) I think I hit the nail on the head. Again.

    So, I’ll again state my earlier thoughts.

    (section removed–no need to spam the comments Donna. -Bikeside)

  18. I was a witness on the ground to the incidents on Hollywood Blvd. I was not a participant in the ride. I did have to dodge a cyclist on the side walk, who when passing me told me to “Get the f*&k out of the way”. My son also wanted to know why so many people were cursing.

    I would take your group a little more seriously if you acted within the law. Running red lights as a protest of non-enforcement of bike related traffic laws?
    Makes no sense to me.

    Seems to me as a witness to this “action” little more than a group of attention seeking miscreants.

    In no way shape or form am I defending the actions of the LAPD, but I can not defend outright wheeled hooliganism either.

  19. Jerry says: “On the bus, except for homeless, elderly poor, or the like I rarely see medium/upper class folks on buses (which I ride 2-4 times daily). I see ‘urban adventurers,’ who look like what I saw in critical mass; 20-30 yr old self-important, ungrounded intellectual fools.”

    Really? I’m 35, first-generation Asian, middle class, and I ride the bus and use a bike to make the last mile go faster. When I feel good I ride the whole way.

    On any given day I see that maybe 80 percent of the people riding bikes, whether for fun or to get around, are Latino and don’t appear to have trust funds. Not exactly the “white kids just slummin’ it” image you are trying to stick on cyclists and some bus riders.

    Jerry, do you interview everyone you see on the bus and ask them exactly why they are there? Didn’t think so. But thanks for painting such broad, judgmental strokes.

  20. The reason why we take the lights is because of how hard it is to stop hundred or thousands of riders, some with fixed gears and no brakes and no rear brake lights like cars. If you’ve ever seen a crash on the Tour de France, if one person goes down we all go down. You guys really have no clue as to what it takes with an all-inclusive ride that big. You have to ride in a group for awhile to actually understand what goes on and guess what if you live in L.A. you just gotta get used to the traffic, if you can’t accept it than you need to move your ass to another city or town because its been like this forever, after all this is the capital of car culture, so a bunch of cyclist shouldn’t damper your time to work or whatever. You should know to leave way earlier to get to where your going in L.A., think about the unexplainable factors when planning your trip. I was born and raised in L.A. and I know how traffic is, that’s why if I want to get from Silverlake to the beach around 3PM on a Friday, I’ll leave two hours early just in case. You just have to accept it or your going to go crazy, trust me I’ve been there before. If you’ve ever been on the 10 or the 405 on rush hour for your commute you know what I’m talking about, just accept it and move on. Your living in a city with 10 million people in it what did you expect, a cake walk?

  21. “some with fixed gears and no brakes and no rear brake lights like cars.”

    Those are incredibly lame excuses. Everyone should be announcing stops and everyone should be able to stop properly. The reason we ride through reds in big groups is that car traffic gets worse when we’re separated into several big packs, and it’s dangerous for the bigger group to have cars in the gaps between split up packs.

  22. To be fair, and I’m a bicyclist myself, some of these bicyclists are real ass-holes. A while back I saw them clog an intersection in Echo Park, and as a family in a van tried to slowly make its way through, they were attacked by 20 or 30 of the bicyclists, who kicked and punched the van and windows. The folks inside, and their children were of course terrified. And its no secret these mass bike rides are rolling beer-guzzling parties.

  23. Laure wrote:

    “They storm the streets and sidewalks, block traffic, ignore traffic lights and signs, insult passers by, and are a real danger to pedestrians and to themselves.”

    Just how would Laure know this? She’s been to more than one Critical Mass herself? She has statistics on injuries caused by “real danger.” Of course not. This is, like other comments here, the work of a troll.

    And her comments amount to a non-sequitur. What cyclists do or don’t do doesn’t give the police license to harass them.

  24. A few points should be made:

    The police officers who were kicking and tackling cyclists were supposedly doing so because these cyclists were committing infractions such as not having a working front headlight. When was the last time anyone saw a police officer rear-end a moving car or drag a motorist out of the driver’s seat because of a minor infraction like having a broken headlight? There is a double-standard.

    Secondly, motor vehicles cause far more traffic accidents and fatalities than cyclists or group rides do (and, of course, that’s on a per capita basis that takes into account the fact that there are far more motorists on the road than cyclists). That’s a statistical fact per national police agencies and the Department of Transportation. This is especially true when it comes to pedestrian safety. The amount of pedestrians who are injured by cyclists is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of pedestrians killed each year by motorists.

    The reason Critical Mass doesn’t stop at red lights (in any city … and CM is much bigger in NYC, SF, Chicago than it is in LA … police also escort and cycle WITH the ride in Chicago) is because doing so would be more dangerous and would hold up traffic far more than letting the group pass as one mass. At it’s peak the last LACM had about 1,000 riders and, based on the aerial footage taken by NBC 4, took no more than 5 minutes maximum to pass any intersection. To the people who claim they were held up for half an hour or whatever inordinate amount of time: that’s a bit hard to believe considering the aerial footage.

    Finally, the reason cyclists are brash on Critical Mass is because they all-too-often receive little respect from motorists on the roads. Look at the recent incident in San Francisco were four cyclists were purposefully hit by some road-raging motorist. These were individual riders in different parts of the city, most of them coming home from work, not a group ride. Here in Los Angeles, there has been a problem with the police refusing to take incident reports or criminal complaints from cyclists who have been hit by motorists. The roads are meant to be shared. Unfortunately, motorists very often refuse to share the road. They treat their own convenience as being more important than the life of someone else. They project all kinds of negative sentiments onto cyclists that defy logical analysis; see Jerry Ralston above make all kinds of (false) assumptions about who rides and why they do. In short, people take out their anger on cyclists because they’re a convenient target due to the lack of physical defense that a bicycle provides them and the fact that law enforcement almost always sides with motorists in any kind of altercation or issue. Critical Mass is the one day a month when cyclists don’t have to worry about being killed by some psycho having a bad day and can instead ride freely and have the upper hand on the road.

    If you don’t like Critical Mass then the best thing you can do is campaign your local municipality to install bicycle lanes, dedicated bicycle paths (when possible), expand public transportation and train police officers to overcome their apparent anti-cycling bias. Cycling in Los Angeles will only grow from this point on. The city is purposefully adding as much density as possible in the central city, making vehicular traffic increasingly worse. Gasoline prices have nowhere to go but up. Affordable transportation is increasingly out of reach of working-class people. These are the reasons why there are so many cyclists out on the streets and the numbers will only keep increasing. In some parts of the city, it is far faster to cycle than to drive through certain areas at this point. I imagine this is also part of the reason why motorists are so often angry (although they should take out their anger on their do-nothing elected officials, not on random cyclists). Its imperative that the city and county expand the transportation infrastructure to meet the changing demands of this city … that will end the cyclist/pedestrian – motorist hostilities.

  25. I cannot fathom the idea that is being espoused that breaking the law is okay, as long as the bicyclist are the ones breaking it. But vehicle drivers that do not follow laws are bad. Seems like a bit of a double standard.

  26. LACyclist,

    You decry double standards for the police behavior (which I am not supporting), but allow the breaking of laws for you and your group?

    Is that not a double standard?

  27. Umm, no, we decry excessive force used for minor traffic violations like being kicked off of a moving bike just for not having a light. What part of LACyclist’s post do you not get? “When was the last time anyone saw a police officer rear-end a moving car or drag a motorist out of the driver’s seat because of a minor infraction like having a broken headlight? There is a double-standard.” Please answer that.

  28. Greg,

    1. Inappropriate use of force is a violation of the law and should be prosecuted, regardless of the type or seriousness of the infraction that started the incident. I hope we can agree on that.

    These laws should not be broken. I hope we agree on that also.

    2. In the aforemetioned post, it states that laws can be broken if it is deemed okay by the Critical Mass folks. To Whit: ” …Critical Mass doesn’t stop at red lights…” That is a direct violation of traffic safety laws. But it is deemed acceptable.

    So, to break it down for you, Critical Mass doesn’t have to abide by laws, but every else should Police officers, motorists, etc.

    I really think that is the definition of a double standard.

    Do I think that Bicyclists should have the right to the road as much as anyone else? Of course.

    Should bicyclists have to obey the same laws as everyone else they share the road with? Yes.

    Should everyone who violates the law face punishment? Yes.

    Should people be treated fairly with respect and not violent behavior? Emphatically YES!

    The incident that you describe in your post is not really a double standard, although it is an example of an inappropriate, and illegal, response to a broken law. Which should not happen regardless of the circumstance of the Rider/Driver.

    I hope this helps you understand my thoughts.

  29. I was riding with the group on Hollywood and I notice something was going on up ahead as my section of the group got closer to the incedent that’s when I noticed they had some cyclist detained.As the group kept going I saw police cars swarm in on the group and start grabing cyclist this made the group split up in many diffrent smaller groups,becuase everyone was trying to avoid the police.My group kept going east on Hollywood Blvd. as we are riding by I see a officer standing ahead of us with his baton in his hand,and that’s when it happens,I see the the officer hit the kid next to me with his baton.It was at this point that all hell broke loose.I remember yelling out “they’re hitting people for no reason!”and told the kid next to me to let’s get out of here.By this time I saw police cars everywhere and cyclist being detained,cyclist were scattered around on Hollywood Blvd. trying not to be detained. So the group I was with decided to avoid Hollywood blvd. and go north on Cahuenga Blvd. As we’re going North on Cahuenga and about to make the right to go east on Franklin a kid next to me tells me,”hey man there’s bike cops behind us.” I look back and see the cop just cruising behind the group,so we were going east on Franklin coming up on Vine St. That’s when I see police cars swarm in front of the group almost hitting the people ahead of me,as I turned left to avoid hitting the cop car that almost hit me,I went around the back of the car and another cop car swarmed in front of me,I swerved right to avoid being hit by the car, then I felt a pull on my backpack that made me do a backplant on to the ground, then I was dragged across the ground by two officers with me legs still tangled around my bike and then they started yelling “why are you resisting!”.When I was clearly not resisting, especially when I was still in daze from being yanked from my bike and dragged across the floor.I feel three cops on top of me.one cop is twisting my arm and the others are pounding on me not punching but pounding hard.,So I started yelling back and repeating “I am not resisting!” I figured this was my only defense against having my arm broken since I felt that’s what they intended to to do.They pick me up off the ground and put me on the cop car I remember the squad car number was 06.I asked why I was being detained they said that I was the one who kicked a cop and they also said I was trying to insight a riot,I explained that I was 31,had two kids, and was currently going to college,Why would I kick a cop? in that moment the officer pulled out my bike tools and said”oh,we got you on burglary tools” and replied “no, those are 15mm wrenches and all my bolts on my bike are 15mm.” the officer replied “Shut up we hate ghetto lawyers!” after a while I was told I was going to get let go with a ticket and to send a message to the bike community, They don’t want us in Hollywood anymore,so after I signed my ticket for riding in the street I was told if we see you riding your bike again tonight we are going to kick your ass and arrest you.One intresting fact about the officer who tackled me and gave me a ticket,he is the same officer in the video who detains the man recording the footage of the kid getting hit by the officer.I find it hard to believe that being tackled from my bike by the same officers was a coincidence,especailly since I was a witness to their lack of respect toward a citizen who did not do anything.

  30. Rick, true story or not, nice troll.

  31. Dave, why do you consider Rick’s story a troll? You don’t think this shit happens?

  32. “Dave, why do you consider Rick’s story a troll? You don’t think this shit happens?”

    It doesn’t ring true, and it’s designed to inflame.

    And because of this:

    “,I explained that I was 31,had two kids, and was currently going to college,”

    It’s difficult to believe a 31 year-old college student would make so many errors in punctuation and spelling – who doesn’t have a spell checker?– and write his story using a painfully-long, single paragraph. He’s no slouch with run-on sentences, either.

    It’s obvious he’s no college student – or he’s someone who doesn’t belong in college – which means the rest of his rant fails.

  33. I know MBAs who write worse than that. That’s a poor criterion for determining troll or not.

  34. Dave, Rick’s story is not a troll. I’m pretty sure I was with the group that followed him up off of Hollywood Blvd. Although we were in front of him–he refers to us as people who almost got hit by cop cars as they swerved around us.

    He’s not a troll; I also saw this stuff go down. And also, you should check out these blogs sometimes, even the authors have spelling errors. And if I were as pissed off as Rick, I would probably type too quickly for good spelling as well. In addition, do you think maybe Rick was typing from a smart phone, which sometimes doesn’t allow for the best spelling?

  35. I got shaken down for corking on the ride on the 11th. I’m not arguing that I deserve the citation, that was my decision. I do object to my treatment and the fifteen minutes I spent in the back of the cop car for CVC 22400 – Impeding Traffic. I believe in corking only because the chaos that would result if we stopped at every red would be completely unsafe and far more disruptive to motorists. Wouldn’t it be great if it turns out the LAPD bike cops give us a rolling road closure tonight? Hopefully I’m not being too optimistic.

  36. the children of the future are begging us to stop burning oil and arabs.

    http://video.pbs.org/video/1108763899/
    nova, extreme ice, please watch.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. LAPD Critical Mass takedown « BikingInLA - May 30th, 2010

    [...] LA: Hollywood LAPD Assault/Harass Cyclists on LA Critical Mass; Los Angeles Police Protective League – Hollywood bike incident statement; Los Angeles Police [...]

  2. Streetsblog Los Angeles » Hollywood LAPD Misses the Memo; Caught on Tape Brutalizing Cyclists - May 31st, 2010

    [...] (In addition to a great report by Jeremy Grant, Bikeside has a list of things that you can do to make certain that justice is served in this case.  Including a "Storm the Bastille" ride to this week's meeting of the Bike Advisory Committee) [...]

  3. LA Critical Mass cuffed & tackled – Storm the Bastille! – Tuesday evening /  illuminateLA - May 31st, 2010

    [...] For more info about Friday nights event that prompts this call for cyclists: http://www.bikesidela.org/hollywood-lapd-assault-harass-cyclists-on-la-critical-mass [...]

  4. Responding to Police vs. Bicyclist Brutality « L.A. Eco-Village Blog - June 1st, 2010

    [...] article has already been editorialized at Bikeside, LACBC, Soapbox LA, Streetsblog, and elsewhere… but I, too, want to weigh in on the question [...]

  5. Bikerumor » LAPD Caught on Tape Attacking Riders in Critical Mass, Lawsuits Being Filed - June 7th, 2010

    [...] this, it was uploaded on May 29 and has had quite a few views. We found it on Streetsblog LA and Bikeside LA, where the story is that a May 28th Los Angeles Critical Mass ride took a turn for the worse when [...]

  6. Ranting & Raving & Riding « HappyLand - Blog - June 28th, 2010

    [...] Friday – a month since the heinous misconduct of police during CM’s route through Hollywood – cyclists from all over gathered to celebrate, protest, and socialize at the sacred Wilshire [...]

  7. Mihai Peteu, ciclist în L.A.: “Plimbările în grup sunt forme pure de activism” | Bicla.ro – pentru bicicliştii urbani amatori - September 30th, 2010

    [...] La Critical Mass, crezi că poliţia a exagerat arestînd biciclişti? (Vezi detalii despre incidente) [...]

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