Los Angeles Police Response to Immigration Rally Probed
JEFFREY KAYE, Reporter, KCET: Images of Los Angeles police officers clubbing demonstrators and journalists during an immigrants' rights rally on Tuesday have been widely seen on television and the Internet.
This morning, Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton called the incident "an aberration." He says he's asked the FBI to launch its own investigation, an investigation he says will demonstrate the department's commitment to professionalism.
CHIEF WILLIAM BRATTON, Los Angeles Police Department: We have nothing to hide, in the sense of our investigation of it, but particularly to push back on anybody who would seek for their own purposes to capitalize on an unfortunate incident, that this is part of some larger scheme to push back on immigrants or immigrants' rights marches.
JEFFREY KAYE: The clashes in L.A.'s MacArthur Park were preceded by a day of largely peaceful demonstrations. Police said problems erupted when some protestors they described as "agitators" started pelting them with bottles and rocks.
Officers said demonstrators did not heed, or maybe couldn't understand, instructions issued in English to disperse. The police then began clearing the crowd with batons. They fired 240 rounds of rubber bullets. Among those struck were men, women, and children participating in the rally, and journalists who were gathered to cover it.