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LAPD officers accused of clashing with bicyclists relieved of field duty during probe

Four police officers involved in a clash with cyclists in Hollywood during a mass bicycle ride have been removed from the field while investigators review the incident, an LAPD official said Wednesday.

Police launched an internal investigation into the Friday night episode after a video circulated that appeared to show an officer kicking at a passing bicyclist during a protest ride against BP's role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, said Cmdr. Andrew Smith.

Officers were at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue to ticket cyclists who failed to stop at red lights, he said.

The video, which was posted on YouTube with the title “Hollywood Cops Attack Bike Riders,” inflamed many bicycle activists, who have complained about mistreatment at the hands of the LAPD. Several dozen cyclists complained to officials Tuesday at a monthly meeting of the city’s bicycle advisory committee.

Among the attendees was LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who told cyclists the investigation would be a “high-priority issue,” said Aurisha Smolarski of the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition. Officers took statements from witnesses at the meeting.

At a meeting with bicycling activists in February, Beck vowed to make the LAPD more responsive to the rights of cyclists and to have officers crack down on motorists who disrespected cyclists' right to the road.

-- Kate Linthicum

Note: Video below contains foul language.

Comments () | Archives (78)

What's interesting about the kicking cop is HE is bicycle cop...assigned to ride a bike. You'd think cycling officers would be less inclined to be aggressive toward cyclists. That said, it looked like a somewhat crazy scene.

Charlie, luckily the illegal 'immigrants' will still help with info as the Az. law isn't in place yet. Go get 'em Charlie! Si Se Puede!!!

Very disturbing. Unless there were prior actions by the cyclist or actions outside the frame which were not caught on tape, the actions of the officer were not called for. As both a cyclist and motorist I see a huge lack of respect on both sides, but for supposed professional law enforcement to take such actions is unacceptable.

I have a feeling you will all be disappointed when the officer is found NOT GUILTY. You don't see what happens before he allegedly kicks the bicycle. Right after that bike goes by, another officer walks into the shot. I would say the bicyclist did something to that officer and the officer who is alleged to have kicked the bike was doing something to protect him.

In addition, you will notice this incident is not really making the news. It is being shown or talked about late into the broadcasts. I suppose however if the alleged victim was black though, it would be top news. It appears to be white on white. If the news is that serious about reporting alleged corruption, they should make this type of story top news all the time and not just when a "minority' is involved.

I'm sure a huge majority of bikers, like any other segment of the population, are law abiding citizens who respect and share the road. The problem involves those cyclists who don't share the road, or chose the laws they want to follow (just like some motorists). Making generalizations about people makes you as big a loser as those people you are trying to put down.

Everyone needs to be aware of their surroundings.

What I saw was several cyclists breaking several vehicle laws; failing to ride at the far right of the roadway, no headlights, no tail lights, no reflectors, no brakes, not to mention illegal assembly. I ride a triathlon bike 30-50 miles a day. I follow the rules of the road and have never been stopped by the police. Its easy,,, obey the law!!! I am all for freedom of speech and the freedom to protest; however, there are ways to do it in which you will receive tons of media coverage while making it safe for everyone involved. This, is not the way. Get a permit and protest in a lawful manner. You look like a big unorganized mob out to cause trouble, not a group of citizens concerned about the environment..

i ride bikes (10+ miles /week) but im not an inconsiderate biker like most. i cant count the number of times i see bikers blow through stop signs, streetlights, intersections, etc. if you bike on the road, arent you supposed to follow the rules like a car?

The jerks on bikes got what they deserved. They all break every law in the book anyway. Get the fools off the streets

Big deal, they will back on the streets just in time for breakfast.

well if skateboarders had "mass rides" you would have seen YEARS ago just how the LAPD treats anyone and everyone (like a criminals) RIDERS keep up the good work keep riding stay safe sad to think those cops were "bike cops" have to kick people cause they cant keep up!

REALLY ? Now maybe I missed something but I saw only one officer take a kick at one passing bicyclist which could have resulted in injury to the rider and not tolerated by the department. But the conduct by the remainder of the officers there seemed within reason in dealing with that guy with the camera who was obviously there to provoke a response by himself displaying poor conduct.Has that guy nothing better to do,I hope he spent the night in jail just for being an idiot.Thank You L.A.P.D.

Not only those officers are violating the citizen's rights and should be fired, but with them the police chief who allows this kind of behavior. He's responsable for his men and he should pass the message that the police officer are working for the citizen and should treat them as the ones who pay there salary. If the LAPD is acting that way, it's because the boss allow them to do so.

Lets not forget that everyone, including the cops, should be (and are) considered innocent until proven guilty. It is what this country was founded on...and one of the basic rights that our soldiers overseas are fighting for.
Do not allow yourself to base your entire conclusion solely on a 1:31 video. Unless you were actually there, we can only speculate what occurred prior to and after the taped incident.
Remember, things are not always as they may seem...It's just not that simple.

wow -- nice job LAPD!!
you brought down another law abiding socially conscious citizen who rides a bike ....
To my two wheel brethren's = video tape every cop you see !!
then start a website !

I cant believe that was a camera phone. It was so clear! What kind of phone was that?

I was in the left turn lane at LaBrea and Beverly when this mass came barreling through. I support their right to protest but am totally against the irresponsible way they chose to do so. It was a chaotic scene when the bicyclists took over all lanes of the road (east and west on Beverly) to turn onto northbound LaBrea. Cars were caught in the middle of this and Hasidic families were at the crosswalks trying to cross. The cyclists did not follow the rules of the road, burst thru red lights, smacked car hoods, yelled at drivers (none of which were moving their cars for fear) and terrorized the neighborhood. Why didn't this group get a permit for their protest route, and ensure security and police protection for not only themselves but people on the street? If the police handled the situation poorly then that should be fixed. But what about the irresponsible actions of protestors? Yes, you have a right to protest but no you don't have the right to jeopardize bystanders.

That cop who kicked the bicyclist was waiting for one of them to get close enough to kick. How PR of the reporter to say "appear to kick the bicyclist". Punk cop had to right to do that except in self-defense or to detain someone who commited a crime and that CLEARLY is not the case here. The camera operator should've gotten a close-up of the cop's face after he kicked the cyclist.

these bicyclists dont follow the rules of the road. They dont stop at red lights or stop signs. They ride on the wrong side of the street with undue regard for public's safety. They think they re exempt of the law and untouchable because they show up in a huge group. They cause traffic jams which in turn causes officers to miss important police work in order to tend to their needs.

I was there and let me tell you, these bicycle protesters were very violent. They threw eggs and tomatoes and children and old ladies. They flipped off almost every person the saw. Many hit people standing on the sidewalks. If I was a cop I would have bashed in many more heads.

Will someone explain to me what makes bicycle riders are exempt from traffic laws? I see them running stop signs and signals all the time. As a pedestrian it makes me very nervous because I never know what to expect.

Those officers should be commended. On more than one occasion, I have seen gangs of bicyclists run red lights and have the arrogance to expect rows of traffic in LA to wait for them. Bicyclists are like most minority groups, they need to take ownership of their own actions before the start asking the government to solve their problems. Respect drivers and drivers will respect you.

Nothing new.....Cops have always done this type of stuff and it does not surprise me. They are just thugs with badges.

I live in the City of Los Angeles, and I have to say this is no bike friendly city--plain and simple. Cars will cut you off left and right! I ride a bike daily and I am omniscient about it. It doesn't matter if the bicyclist have the right of way; drivers are extremely belligerent and down right dirty and nasty! I'm not surprise the cops behave wantonly when it comes to bicyclists. As for fixies, I've been cut off by them too! What's the deal riding with no brakes? Isn't there a law prohibiting this type of set up? Fixies pose a traffic hazard and they are ominously dangerous in Los Angeles. Common sense dictate these bikes are made for the track; not on city streets!

Watching that made me want to kick a cop in the face. but, moral fiber and common sense prevents me from kicking people for no reason, of course that also disqualifies me from law enforcement careers in LA

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