Jose Villa was videoing LAPD during the anti-Minutemen protest called by ANSWER LA last Saturday. As the YourTube video shows, he and Christen Westberry were standing still when an LAPD officer on a bicycle stopped next to them, picked up his bike, slammed it into them, pushing them into other police who then clubbed until they were lying on the pavement – then continued beating them.
For this Villa has been charged with “lynching”, a felony.
From the Wikipedia definition of “lynching.”
Many states now have specific anti-lynching statutes. California, for example, defines lynching, punishable by 2-4 years in prison, as “the taking by means of a riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer,” with the crime of “riot” defined as two or more people using violence or the threat of violence.
At a press conference Tuesday the National Lawyers Guild and ANSWER LA announced they would file multiple lawsuits. Richard Becker of the ANSWER Coalition summed up situations like this up perfectly, “the severity of the charges is always in direct correlation to the severity of the beating”. LAPD knows they are in trouble, hence the grotesque charge of lynching because a man hugged his girl friend to protect her from thugs with badges who beat them both to the sidewalk and continued to assault them while they were motionless.
Becker continued, “we demand the charges be dropped,” saying the behavior of the police could only be called “fascist.”
Reaction from other parts of the country and world is, those LAPD cops are animals, aren’t they? My 88 year old father, a retired lawyer, said the video was ‘sickening.’ A friend, Wood, who lives in Wales contrasted the video to the “comforting idea of the provincial British bobby.” Imagine, a country where the police are not known for violent behavior or for clubbing innocents. Wood concludes “Those aren’t policemen. Those are thugs in uniforms.”
Does LAPD even learn? No. That’s why the National Lawyers Guild successfully forced LAPD into a consent decree against precisely this kind of brutal behavior during the 2000 DNC. LAPD is undoubtably now in violation of that agreement. You better believe they’re worried about the coming lawsuits.
Read the full report of the press conference on ANSWER LA.