Los Angeles

Caught on Camera: LAPD Officer Swings Baton Toward Protesters

The crowd can be heard shrieking and screaming as the baton swings

Los Angeles police are investigating an officer's use of a baton during a South LA protest after a cellphone video posted on YouTube showed him swinging it toward a group of people, the department confirmed Tuesday.

The nearly six-minute video titled "#LAPD Brutally Violent Arrest #LA2Ferguson Monday Dec 1" was posted Dec. 2 and shows a crowd protesting the recent deaths of black men at the hands of police.

Motorcycle officers in riot gear can be seen riding up to the protesters as the marchers yell through a megaphone to "stay together." In the background, officers are standing over a man on the ground as one protester screams, "What the f--- are you doing?"

Protesters gather around as several officers kneel down on the man and hold him to the asphalt. 

Another officer steps forward with his baton and swiftly whips it toward the group at least two times as police instruct the protesters to "get back." The crowd can be heard shrieking and screaming as the baton swings.

The video then shows an officer touch the shoulder of the officer with the baton and lead him away from the group.

LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith confirmed to NBC4 on Tuesday the department is investigating the caught-on-camera confrontation.

"Internal affairs is conducting the investigation," Smith said. "We investigate all complaints, regardless of the source."

The protest was one of several that erupted in Los Angeles in the wake of a federal grand jury decision not to indict a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old man.

Protesters in the video also decried the fatal shooting of Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old man who was unarmed when LAPD officers shot and killed him in South LA.

Nearly 380 people were arrested in Los Angeles in one week as a result of protests.

WARNING: The video below contains profanity.

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