About last night… Both the LAPD and the CHP failed last night as it related to “facilitating” yesterday’s demonstrations. Depending on which side of the coin you fall on, that’s either a good or a bad thing. Now, while I am fully aware that the men and women on the front lines weren’t the geniuses in charge of coming up with the plan for how to “facilitate” the protests and protestors (and we’ll get to those front line men and women in subsequent paragraphs), allegedly they work as a team and the whole damn lot of them get an F.
To begin with, if the LAPD can monitor social media to catch alleged criminals, then those same snooping cops should have been able to see that all over both Twitter and Facebook using hashtags like oh I don’t know #LosAngeles there were NUMEROUS posts announcing a protest on the corner of Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvds. at 3 p.m. In fact, if I recall, it was even on the news.
Knowing this and knowing that there has been 24 hours for the call to go out for people to gather on said corner, the LAPD should have closed the intersection at least 30 minutes before. I mean for Christ’s sake, the protest was in front of South TRAFFIC bureau. They could have walked over there. Literally. But they didn’t and what happened was hundreds of protestors verses hundreds of cars and buses. It wasn’t pretty and it got a little dicey more than once with antsy drivers who also obviously either don’t watch the news or pay attention to social media. If they did, they themselves wouldn’t have gotten caught up in all that.
Now I don’t know whose bright idea it was to allow CHP officers to become surrounded by protestors angry at the police, but that’s exactly what happened. I guess kudos to the protestors for seizing upon an opportunity that was pretty much handed to them courtesy of the CHP. The CHP left themselves open for what happened to their vehicles under the 110 near USC. They really did.
— Jasmyne Cannick (@jasmyne) November 26, 2014
Now, if protestors took to the freeway the night before, logic would dictate that they just might do it again.
And again, I have to give props to the protestors for having the wherewithal to create utter chaos by breaking off into so many different groups and ascending through downtown. The LAPD was obviously not prepared for that move.
The group that I was walking with was the group that decided to get onto to 101 freeway. And let me tell you, while USC was under guard like the vice-president himself was on campus (I chose the VP because they seem to protect him better than the POTUS these days), there was NO ONE to stop the protestors from getting onto the 101. No one. I watched it all. In fact, in doing my due diligence as an observer, I followed the protestors down the embankment onto the freeway–and observed from a distance for quite sometime as they shut it down–again.
So when the CHP finally woke up and showed up and told the crowd to disperse, I decided to do just that. At 37 years old, I am keenly aware that if I get shot with anything–be it rubber or foam, it will be next year sometime before I am completely healed. I just don’t need that.
I wasn’t physically on the freeway. I was at the bottom of the embankment just before the pavement started–close enough to hear and see everything but out of harms way, or so I thought.
As I am walking back up the embankment the CHP swoops in and starts screaming at me and others to disperse. Well that’s exactly what we were doing. Apparently we weren’t moving fast enough because before I knew it, I was being pulled by my shirt, then pushed and yelled at by some CHP officer.
If you order people to do something and they are obviously complying, there is no need to put your hands on them. None. That was a fill-in-the-blank-move on their part. If you want to see some action, go join the military and go off to war. Don’t create situations just so you can break a sweat.
But I’m not done.
First, thank you to whomever cut the gate and lifted it up so that we could all escape the baton wheeling CHP officers who got a little touchy feely for no good reason.
When I reached the Grand Avenue overpass, I was met with a line of cops from the LAPD who told me to turn around and go in the opposite direction. Okay, no problem. Thank you Mr. Officer.
When I did just that and walked to the opposite end, their counterparts yelled and told me to go back the way I came from and at that point all hell broke loose because they wouldn’t let us leave–even though they were yelling at us to move. They boxed us in on the overpass for quite sometime and worked my last damn nerve.
Again, not a good look for folks just trying to “facilitate” folks exercising their right to free speech. And I don’t want to hear shit about an unlawful assemble because the people on the overpass were the people who got off the freeway when they first were told to. The group still on the freeway now that’s a different story.
In closing, I need for someone to message, text, email, or call me with the name of the geniuses from LAPDHQs and CHP Southern whose leadership failed miserably last night. No worries, you can be anonymous. I just need to know whose name to put on my complaint form.
Lastly, the protestors ran downtown Los Angeles last night–not the LAPD or the CHP. Both agencies under estimated the Angelenos they swore to protect and serve and had circles ran around them.
Again, depending on where you fall on all of this, that’s either a good or bad thing.
You can send all complaints about LAPD’s performance last night in DTLA in care of: Captain Jeffrey Bert, Northeast Division and Acting Commanding Officer Operations Central Bureau. He was in charge and responsible for the downtown area of L.A.
I’m still working on who was in charge of the CHP…