The mainstream media at first congratulated the Los Angeles Police Department for its restraint and professionalism in evicting the city’s Occupiers late Tuesday.
But that was only because they were corralled into a media pool, shielded from the real misdeeds and forbidden to even tweet about the raid until it was over.
They were even forbidden from interviewing activists, according to a Los Angeles Daily News reporter who broke the rules about tweeting during the raid.
However, despite the media embargo, a KCBS videographer captured a group of officers arresting a photographer for simply asking a cop’s name after he was thrown to the ground.
Tyson Heder was charged with assault on a police officer.
He remains in jail as of this writing on a $20,000 bond, according to his sister who responded to my inquiry on Twitter.
The video posted above shows he did not assault the officers. Instead, one cop walked up to him and shoved him down, then when he stood back up and asked the cop’s name, several pounced on him.
His sister, Christy Collins, reported that her brother had two black eyes and was kept in handcuffs for six hours, but police assured her mother that he “has no broken bones.”
Adding an eerie element to the already absurd media blackout, the video had been removed for a few hours before it reappeared.
Also that night, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa issued a statement designating a special “First Amendment area” on the steps of city hall.
The Los Angeles Times, who were included in the official media pool, reported the following:
Through a combination of effective tactics, daunting numbers and — significantly — restraint by both sides, police managed to bring the encampment to a largely peaceful end, avoiding the melees that marred the eviction of protesters from similar camps in Oakland, New York and elsewhere.
In the process, the LAPD took a major step toward shedding a reputation earned over decades for heavy-handed crowd control.
However, Occupy Los Angeles activist Ruth Fowler, who has been documenting the movement, reported the following:
No bad treatment of protestors occurred while the mainstream media was watching – it was only at the end that this occurred, when the non pool reporters were separated from the pool media, and the reporters not in the pool were shoved and hit by cops.
At this point I left, but other non-pool media refused to leave and wanted to stay reporting on the scene. Jared Iorio, our photographer, stayed for fifteen minutes after me and was hit repeatedly (twice) in the chest with a baton by a policeman until he left Solidarity Park. He joined a group of about 600 people on 1st and Main. After half an hour of being pushed back, the police called an unlawful assembly over the megaphone, and asked us to move or we would be arrested.
An attorney for the jailed activists said they being treated harshly, slapped with excessive bail amounts.
Ian Thompson told a news conference Thursday that about 250 of the 292 arrestees are still in jail on $5,000 bail although most have only been charged with the misdemeanor crime of failure to disperse.
He says California law clearly states that people charged with misdemeanors are to be cited and released.
At least one Los Angeles photographer doesn’t have much sympathy for the activists after they harassed him and another photographer last week.
Occupiers got in my face Today. (literally inches) and told me not to photograph them. Fucking hypocrites. I’ll send you the video this weekend. Five minutes later these assholes started talking about how they need as much media as possible to cover the raid. I’m telling as many people I know not to go. They lost my support
Here are his videos.