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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)

I really didn't see anything that is overtly wrong. For all anyone knows that cop was stopping that cyclist for an infraction. The rest doesn't really show much and as far as I am concerned is completely inconclusive.
I wish that LAPD would give all of those cyclists tickets for slowing down the traffic. I wish that cyclists were held to the same standard as every person operating some type of instrument that moves - they should be required to observe the rules of the road just like everyone else and they aren't.
so - go on lapd! wish you were in Pasadena!

This is just disgusting and COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE! Sure, the officers may have been arresting the person we see at the beginning of the video for legitimate reasons, but they had NO REASON to KICK him, and the person with the video camera DID NOTHING WRONG accept to witness a crime being committed BY THE POLICE! These cops are GUILTY OF AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AND GUILTY of trying to HIDE THEIR CRIME... they SHOULD GO TO JAIL just like anyone else would PERIOD!! Also, they should NEVER be allowed to work for ANY law enforcement agency EVER AGAIN! Cops need to be held to a higher standard NOT protected by their fraternity. They are supposed to PROTECT and SERVE the public, NOT ASSAULT and BRUTALIZE innocent bystanders.

When bicyclists get into a large group, they frequently take on a single, inexplicably arrogant attitude, especially toward people in passing vehicles. Streets are not bike paths. They're primarily for motor vehicles. I used to be into cycling, but I never felt the need or desire to cycle with a large group, especially at night on a busy city street. These people are looking for trouble. They weren't out getting some exercise. It was a social event. The mob mentality gives many cyclists an unwarranted sense of entitlement and indifference to others. I'm against this apparent over-reaction by law enforcement, but I think many of these cyclists got exactly what they asked for.

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