LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Rapper Chika posted videos to Instagram documenting her detainment inside of a bus following a protest May 31.
“I’m in here, because I watched them put their hands on my manager while she was trying to leave,” Chika can be heard saying. “I said, ‘Hey, she’s walking away.” They said, ‘Get her, too.'”
The 23-year-old and her manager, Krystale Hartsfield, said they were detained for more than seven hours even though they were trying to leave after police ordered them and other peaceful protesters to disperse.
They said their hands were zip-tied behind their backs, loaded on a bus in the Fairfax District, brought to Van Nuys and released hours later with a citation.
“It was an abuse of power,” Hartsfield said. “They were trying to show us that they were the ones in charge and that even though we were leaving, because we were there in the first place they wanted to show us you shouldn’t even be here.”
After being flooded with complaints like that and worse, LAPD announced Wednesday it had already removed seven officers from the field for using excessive force during the demonstrations and has 40 investigators looking at allegations of misconduct.
According to officials, 58 cases had been reviewed so far, 28 of those involving claims of excessive force.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a Wednesday briefing that every complaint filed deserved a full investigation.
And as I’ve said if there’s consequences including suspension or removal, those will come,” he said.
Community advocates have also demanded an end to LAPD’s use of less-lethal projectiles and batons, pouring out a bag of rubber bullets and casings in front of police headquarters Wednesday morning that they said were used against peaceful protesters over the past two weeks.
Garcetti Wednesday said there may be moments when the use of projectiles and batons might be appropriate, but he said he was asking the police commission for advice on minimizing their use, referencing recent reports including one about a homeless man in a wheelchair who might have been fired upon during the demonstrations.
“There’s some very troubling images that we saw of folks where it seemed that there’s absolutely no reason somebody should have taken one of these less-than-lethal rounds in a position, sitting in a wheelchair or something else,” Garcetti said. “But we need to make sure those investigations are fully done.”
LAPD said the seven officers removed from field duty would remain on desk duty pending the outcome of the investigations.