ArtWalk Riot: Police vs Protesters over Sidewalk Chalk (Video)
Chalk Walk: LAPD Attacks Crowd over Sidewalk Chalk
The LAPD takes sidewalk chalk very seriously. Seriously enough to send 140 riot police to forcibly stop an Occupy LA group from drawing on the sidewalk during LA Artwalk. You can see eyewitness video below.
Apparently a man taking part in the demonstration threw a bottle over his shoulder that landed near the phalanx of riot cops, who took that as their cue to move in. (Initial reports that the man who threw the bottle was shot by a rubber bullet turned out not to be accurate.)
Four police officers and several protesters were injured in the scuffle. The alternative would have been to just let people draw with chalk during the street festival.
“They were vandalizing the sidewalk and privately owned buildings writing in chalk. The city attorney – this is something they prosecute. It is a misdemeanor and sometimes it can be a felony,” Eisenman told KPCC.
We understand that the LAPD's Norma Eisenman wants to justify her department's actions, but no reasonable person can be expected to see sidewalk chalk as a civic threat.
It's also worth pointing out that it was raining during Artwalk. All the police had to do was check the weather forecast.
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