The Town Hall Meeting w/LAPD [@ Pico Union 09/08/10]

On Wednesday night, the community came out in full force to John H. Liechty Middle School [Westlake]. The LAPD held this meeting in response to what happened the night before in front of the Rampart Station (over the shooting of day laborer Manuel Jamines). There were some in attendance that spoke on behalf of LAPD, but were overwhelmed by the citizens in the room, chanting ‘boos’ and other disagreeing comments. Most of the people that got on the mic were more for peace on both sides [cops vs community].

I stayed for a good hour and a half, and for almost every 6 or 7 questions asked, there was one response for each. From what I learned, cops ‘arent trained to disarm an individual with a knife’, yet they carry mase on them [why didnt they use that on him]? There were people there that were victims from the Immigration ’07 March, Rampart Scandal, the NHI [No Humans Involved] victims, the relatives of Manuel Jimenes, and plenty others. When it got to the last 4, one of the guys [wearing a Just For Oscar Grant t-shirt] who got arrested the night before [at the protest] called the whole meeting a ‘fraud’, and one of the guys who previously spoke ran up and told everyone in the room that the cops were ‘tear gas-ing’ everyone on 6th st. So… I ran over there.

I got stopped by a lady who asked me where the reporters for the spanish channel station was. I told her that they’re probably inside the school where the cops are holding a conference, since all the media is there. I told her how to get in, and she sped around the corner to the entrance. I got up to 6th street, and it looked like a a huge war zone [cops patrolling the street, all the people on one side of the street and cops on the other, along with some other people]. At one point my eyes got kind watery, yet burning, assuming that the ‘tear gas-ing’ incident might have ended right before I arrived.  There was one person [across the street from where I was] who was getting interviewed by a news reporter, all the while cops were being taunted by some of the people in the crowd. It has been a crazy night, so I caught the 18, and headed east to downtown. Tonight was very emotional for most, yet pissed off for many others as well. I just hope that things will turn out for the better, and the guy who shot Manuel will get justice served for him.

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