LAPD Bike Cops Caught on YouTube

A YouTube video launches investigation into the LAPD

The Los Angeles Police Department has begun an investigation into a reported use of force incident involving bicyclists protesting British Petroleum over the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

About 400 bicyclists were were traveling eastbound on Hollywood Boulevard, just east of Highland Avenue, about 9:30 p.m. Friday as Hollywood Area bike unit officers were patrolling the area, watching for red light violations and issuing citations, according to the police.

As officers attempted to detain several bicyclists, a reported use of force was captured on video, according to the police.

The images, apparently shot from the perspective of a bicyclist on the ground and posted on the website Youtube, shows two officers with clubs drawn, one telling the bicyclist to get up, the other says "get down." What happens next is unclear because the video ends as the camera is apparently turned off.

"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 department's 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 Internal Affairs Group is also investigating the incident.

Representatives of the bikers could not be reached for comment.

The president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents the department's officers asked "that the community refrain from a rush to judgment."

"It is always important to remember that home video, shot from a distance, from one angle and in the dark, and not at the beginning of the incident, seldom tells whole story," said Paul M. Weber.

The league "generally withholds comment on actions by police officers until we know all the facts," said Weber.

Note: Video below contains foul language.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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