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Videos show attacks on LAPD officers during May Day rally

May 2, 2012 | 11:05 am

Los Angeles police were asking for the public's help Wednesday in identifying people caught on video assaulting officers with a drum and large wooden pallet during a May Day protest in downtown Los Angeles.

The incident occurred late Tuesday afternoon near 4th and Hill streets when protesters appeared to swarm a smaller number of LAPD officers, who in turn called for backup. Police initially believed one of the attacks was carried out with a skateboard but after reviewing the video footage determined it was a drum.

In one of the videos, titled "Cheap Shot on a Cop," a man dressed in a black T-shirt and black hoodie is seen approaching the female officer, circling around behind her and striking her on the back of the head with the item before running off. 

Police officials said a female officer, who was not seriously injured, was hospitalized as a precaution. The impact of the blow jerked her head forward and dented her helmet, officials said.

The LAPD plans an afternoon news conference to discuss the cases.

PHOTOS: May Day protest

Additional footage from another video shows several protesters rushing officers and ramming them from behind with a large wooden construction pallet.

The downtown incident unfolded when officers issued a call for help at 4th and Hill streets about 4:20 p.m. Tuesday when protesters, many from the Occupy movement, began circling officers and chanting, "We are the 99%."  The crowd swelled as officers arrived by bicycle, motorcycle and on foot to quell the brewing confrontation.

At least 14 arrests were reported Tuesday, including 10 pre-designated detentions at Los Angeles International Airport, three in North Hollywood and one downtown involving a false bomb threat against a bank.

The incidents were in contrast to the overall tone of the protests, which were largely nonviolent.


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At least 13 arrested in L.A. May Day protests

Police put on riot gear as May Day protests converge

-- Andrew Blankstein (Twitter.com/anblanx)