Published on Jul 20, 2012
The Los Angeles Police Department is now receiving formal complaints over the way officers handled a demonstration involving Occupy Los Angeles.
The complaints are being filed by participants of Occupy LA who say police used unnecessary force for what was intended to be a demonstration of free speech.
Occupiers say they were at the popular Art Walk to raise awareness about a series of other arrests that they feel were unconstitutional.
Occupiers say the Art Walk event started as a peaceful evening of outreach before police turned it into a riot.
They say they want the officers involved to be held accountable for violating the rights of the people who were there.
Occupier Cheryl Aichele says the event started with activists handing out chalk.
Aichele says it was in support of a dozen Occupiers who had already been arrested for chalking messages that criticized the gentrification of downtown.
Police justify the arrests by saying the chalk is vandalism but Aichele says the law is on the side of Occupy.
Now Occupiers are filing formal complaints with the Los Angeles Police Commission.
They're hoping it will lead to a wider investigation that could involve the California State Attorney General and the United Nations.
Occupiers say of the 17 people arrested during Art Walk only a few were involved with Occupy Los Angeles.
Aichele is encouraging anyone who was affected that night to file a complaint as well.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says his department will conduct a thorough review of the tactics used by officers.
Chief Beck says this review will determine whether the "hard-line enforcement" approach the police took was necessary - 18 July 2012.
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