Reporting Juan Fernandez
LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Police Wednesday hoped video would help identify the people responsible for two apparently unprovoked attacks on LAPD officers during a May Day rally Tuesday.
Photographer Tony Echevarria, who shot the video, has been covering protests since the Occupy L.A. days at City Hall.
He said what he witnessed on Tuesday turned his stomach.“It was a sucker punch from behind with a futon board. One cop fell, back of his head, it was ugly,” Echevarria said.
His video became the focal point of an LAPD investigation and manhunt.
“I love video. Video doesn’t lie,” Echevarria said.
Echevarria’s video clearly shows what happened Tuesday at about 5 p.m. at 4th and Hill Streets during a May Day demonstration.
In one clip, two men holding a palate rammed a police skirmish line. The impact was strong enough to knock an officer’s helmet off his head.
In another scene, a female officer is shown being smacked in the back of the head with a snare drum.
“This was a cowardly attack from the rear, entirely unprovoked that could have seriously, seriously injured this young police officer and ended her career and even ended her life,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.
The officer, who was almost knocked off her feet, suffered a concussion and was resting at home Wednesday.
In the Meantime the LAPD was closely examining the video in the hopes of identifying the men responsible for the attacks.
Police also looked to the public for help.
“They’re cowards. If you’re going to hit the cops, confront them face-to-face and go for it. They are not going to win, but that stuff in the back with the futon is ugly. I hope those guys get caught,” Echevarria said.
Chief Beck said that the parties responsible were a splinter group, who had joined in with the rest of the demonstrators.