A Los Angeles police officer has been caught on video apparently lashing out at a cyclist taking part in an anti-BP protest in Hollywood.
The video, filmed by a fellow protester and posted on YouTube, seems to show the cop kicking the passer-by without any provocation.
When the man filming the incident shouts “what the f*** was that?” two officers chase him and he either falls or is pushed to the ground.
The situation is reminiscent of two incidents involving police and cyclists during Critical Mass rides in New York, which were also filmed and posted on YouTube.
Los Angeles Police Department’s internal affairs unit is investigating the clash after a complaint was filed by cyclists. They claimed that in addition to the incident caught on camera, police put batons through riders’ wheels, drove their patrol cars towards them and threw people who didn’t have lights on their bikes to the ground.
“It’s always important to remember that home video, shot from a distance, from one angle and in the dark, and not at the beginning of the incident, seldom tells the whole story,” said Los Angeles Police Protective League president Paul M Weber in a statement.
The protest in Hollywood Boulevard was sparked by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and involved around 400 people. Ironically, LA officials recently pledged to provide more protection for cyclists.