white power

(EDITOR’S NOTE, 2/1/19, 5:57 PM ET: The Los Angeles Police Department has completed its investigation into this video after Grit Post’s initial inquiry Thursday about whether or not the man in the video works for the department. In a statement issued Friday, the LAPD has determined that the person in the video wearing a shirt with LAPD insignia is not on the department’s payroll. We have updated the story to reflect the conclusion of the department’s investigation.)

An at present unidentified man wearing an LAPD t-shirt with patches and other insignia was caught on video saying “White Power” and throwing up hand signs indicating white supremacy to antagonize Black Lives Matter protesters Thursday morning.

Protesters can be heard asking for the alleged officer’s badge number. The crowd included the family of a recent victim of a police shooting that Black Lives Matter had gathered to protest.

However, in a tweet posted Friday, the LAPD’s official Twitter account said the man in the video was never on the department’s payroll, and was wearing a shirt that’s available to the public. The department added that it would be working with its Entertainment Trademark Unit to enforce violations of its trademark.

Black Lives Matter was protesting outside the Hollywood 24-Hour Fitness center where Albert Ramon Dorsey was fatally shot by police last Thursday after being accused of trespassing.

“We received a battery call involving a gym employee and a customer,” LAPD Officer Greg Kraft told local news, “Officers responded and a confrontation occurred between a man in his 30s and the officers, At some point, the suspect gained control of the officer’s Taser and the OIS ensued.”

Dorsey was pronounced dead at the scene, and an officer had minor injuries, according to Kraft.

The bodycam video of the exchange is murky at best but does seem to show some manner of altercation.

Since the Rodney King incident and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, the LAPD has been focused on changing its racist image and becoming better, but has often fallen short of lofty banner headlines touting their success.

Police violence against communities of color is a national epidemic that has changed how those communities raise their children. Calls to police on people of color for doing daily activities while not being white are making regular headlines, and a black man was killed in his own home by a police officer who entered unlawfully last year.

 

Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.

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