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Rally planned for skateboarder allegedly beaten by police

August 22, 2012 |  8:29 am

A community rally is scheduled Wednesday afternoon in support of a Venice skateboarder who alleges that he was racially profiled and beaten by Los Angeles police.

“Racial profiling is real,” said Najee Ali, executive director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E. “We want to make it clear that we will not accept that."

Los Angeles Police Department officials say they are investigating allegations that police beat Ronald Weekley Jr., leaving him with what his attorneys said are a concussion and other injuries.

Four Los Angeles police officers were captured Saturday on a cellphone video on top of Weekley. As three officers wrestled with him on the ground, a fourth appears to  punch Weekley repeatedly in the face.

"I was opening the door to my apartment when I was attacked from behind. They grabbed my hair and my back and tried to smash my face into the ground," Weekley said at a Tuesday news conference. "I started screaming and yelling because I thought I was going to die."

Attorney Benjamin Crump said Weekley suffered a concussion, a broken cheekbone and a broken nose from the beating. Crump's office said it would provide medical records but had not yet released them.

"Why did they assault and confront this college student?" Crump asked. "Was it because he was on the wrong side of the road, or was it because he was the wrong color?"

Cmdr. Andrew Smith said officers tried to stop Weekley on Saturday evening near the corner of Sunset and 6th avenues because he was riding his skateboard on the wrong side of the street. He attempted to flee, Smith said, and officers used force to handcuff and subdue him.

Officials said the LAPD's internal affairs unit is investigating the allegations.

The community rally Wednesday will be held at 4 p.m. near the site of the incident at 610 6th Ave.

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— Melissa Leu

Follow Melissa Leu on Twitter and Google+.

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