STOP RACIAL PROFILING IN VENICE & LOS ANGELES
VENICE, Calif. (KTLA) -- A 20-year-old Venice man and his family are calling for justice, claiming police pinned him to the ground and beat him after he was already subdued.
KTLA spoke to Ronald Weekley Jr., who was jailed for resisting arrest, moments after he was released on Monday morning.
Weekley said he was skateboarding in front of his home Saturday afternoon when Los Angeles police officers detained him and threw him to the ground.
"I turned around to two cops running directly at me and throwing me on the ground, putting my arms behind my back and tying my legs to my arms and telling me I was resisting arrest," Weekly recalled.
The family provided KTLA with a video of the incident, which shows four officers surrounding Weekly as he lies prone on the ground.
There is a point on the video where an officer can be seen punching Weekley in the head with his fist.
Police claim that Weekley was resisting arrest, but he maintains he couldn't have done anything to fight back, even if he wanted to.
"With four police officers on me like they are the video, there's nothing I could do," he said. "When the officers were striking me in the face, I could do nothing but scream for help."
Weekley says he suffered a broken nose, a broken cheekbone and a concussion.
"It's embarrassing, it hurts," he said, fighting back tears. "I didn't do anything. All I did was get on my skateboard."
Authorities say Weekley was wanted on three outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrants.
His father, Ron Weekley Sr., said those warrants were for violating curfew several years ago, and they were not the probable cause for the stop.
He said the arresting officer told him that he stopped his son because he was riding his skateboard on the wrong side of the street.
"In terms of this stop it's quite immaterial that Ron had warrants for curfew two or three years ago," Weekley Sr. said.
The family says that they believe Weekley was racially profiled and they're demanding justice, as well as changes within the police department.
"We want the chief of police to not only do an investigation, but we want him to train his officers better becasue they work in ethnic communities," Weekley Sr. said.
The LAPD says that the incident is being investigated by internal affairs and will be reviewed at the highest level of the department.
In a statement, LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith told KTLA: "An officer may use reasonable and necessary force to affect an arrest, overcome resistance or prevent the escape of a suspect."
He added: "Use of force by offices may include striking a suspect with an officers' fist if the suspect is resisting arrest."
Smith said he did not know if the officers involved had been put on leave.
Protesters gathered Monday afternoon at the scene at 6th and Sunset avenues in Venice, where they waved signs that said "Stop Police Brutality" and "Honk 4 Justice." Motorists passed by honking their horns in support.
- LAPD Office of Inspector General
- DOJ Office of Inspector General
- CHIEF OF POLICE, LOS ANGELES
Chief, Charlie Beck
- Attorney General
- Captain - Pacific Division, LAPD
Capt. Brian Johnson
- City Attorney, Los Angeles
- Councilman, CD11
"Why is it that people of color are stopped constantly while the same infractions or stops are done for other people and none of the aggressiveness of the LAPD is displayed ex: Get out of the car so you can be patted down, or assume the position, or where are you going is ever asked of them?
Why is it that people of color are treated so unfairly in this area?
Why is it that the only solution for the concerned community is LAPD patrol?
Why is it that people of color are always targeted?
Whatever fears that are within you are yours to deal with. We are not the enemy we love our community and always have.
We may display it in a way that may seem foreign to you, then get to know the culture and community first, but that is what makes Venice, Venice." [Community Activist: Laddie Williams - 8/18/12]
I petition you to stop terrorizing people of color in Venice - and throughout Los Angeles.
It's time LAPD teach it's officers to have respect for all people, regardless of their ethnic origin and the color of their skin.
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