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LAPD investigates excessive force complaints at Pacoima party

July 23, 2010 |  8:11 am

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating complaints that excessive force was used by officers responding to a large, raucous birthday party in Pacoima, where one officer was injured.

Some of the early Sunday morning confrontation was captured on videotape as a large number of officers, some wearing riot helmets, tried to disperse the agitated crowd of partygoers.

Officers from the Foothill Division tried to shut down the party near Cayuga Avenue and Pierce Street shortly after 1 a.m. after receiving multiple complaints from neighboring residents, police said.

As more officers arrived, partygoers began throwing rocks, bottles, cans and other items at the officers, according to the LAPD. An air support unit broadcast a call for help, and one officer was hit in the head by a heavy object and was taken to a hospital for treatment of a concussion, police said in a statement.

Officers formed skirmish lines and began dispersing “the disorderly crowd” of 60 to 70. As officers began moving people, more were assaulted, police officials said.

“It has come to the attention of the department that an Internet video shows at least a portion of the encounter between LAPD officers and those attending the party. In the video, officers are shown in the skirmish line formation,” the department said.

Nine people at the party were arrested for various crimes, including, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, resisting arrest and delaying or obstructing an officer.

The Foothill Division received several complaints about the officers' actions, including allegations of excessive force, after the party, officials said.

-- Richard Winton