WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood released an official statement on Monday, October 5, discussing an incident that transpired on September 25 where deputy from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department was caught on camera violently and repeatedly striking a protestor on the knee with his riot shield.
In a press release, the city of West Hollywood noted a ‘use of force’ investigation has been initiated into the incident and the deputy under review, “Will be held to answer his actions.”
The statement further reads that, “SRT (Special Response Team) Deputies are typically selected because of demonstrated maturity, discipline, and ability to carry out orders with the highest levels of integrity in an emergent situation.”
In response to the actions of the deputy’s excessive use of force, the city said any kind of excessive force is rare in West Hollywood.
In its duty to protect public safety, the city of West Hollywood believes any decisions made and actions taken on September 25 were based solely upon protecting people and property in the area and to protect the public and businesses from vandalism and lawlessness that was observed on the night of September 24, in the east of the city’s boundaries.
Demonstrators arrived in West Hollywood on September 24 carrying homemade shields, wearing helmets, and donning body armor and body padding while carrying umbrellas. As the crowd made its way down Santa Monica Boulevard from La Cienega Boulevard, a few marchers started to vandalize buildings and storefronts with graffiti and etching into glass windows.
As activities progressed during the evening, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department made a decision to declare an unlawful assembly to disperse the crowd.
“Public safety is always the City’s number-one priority. The City of West Hollywood and its contracted law enforcement partners have an obligation to maintain peace and to protect demonstrators, residents, businesses, and visitors. While the City of West Hollywood passionately embraces the exercise of first amendment rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of speech, it also takes very seriously its important role in safeguarding neighborhoods, protestors, and community members,” the city of West Hollywood stated in a press release.
In response to the violence and authorities mishandling of protestors, the city of West Hollywood is having a conversation with its citizens about public safety as part of the upcoming West Hollywood City Council meeting on Monday, October 19. Meeting details will be provided at www.weho.org/agendas