Activists Call on City of West Hollywood to Hold Sheriff’s Department
and LA Pride Organizers Accountable
Pride parade activists demand to meet with city officials to address Sheriff’s use of force at Pride parade action and present demands to CSW LA to become more accessible and refocus on serving all LGBTQ communities
Los Angeles, CA – The TransLatin@ Coalition along with the National Lawyers Guild Los Angeles presented a report today on their observations of the LA Sheriff’s Department response to activists and spectators during a protest at the 2016 LA Pride Parade on June 12. Activists called on the City of West Hollywood to hold the Sheriff’s Department accountable for excessive force during the protest.
The letter reads in part,
"At about 11:28 a.m., at the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Westbourne Dr., #Reclaim Pride Contingent members paused to rally and enact a “die-in,” with paper coffins, flags and signs, to remember trans victims of murder and violence.
A few minutes later, without any warning, heavily armed LASD personnel in riot gear comprised of approximately 30 officers aggressively moved in over the crowd as they were lying on the ground and trampled their visuals, including their props and flags. The officers, with apparent hostility, ripped apart the paper coffins and threw them to the side of the road.
As the marchers got up, the LASD riot officers began pushing them as well as NLG legal observers. The observers were being shoved from behind as they attempted to document the LASD riot police pushing, grabbing and yelling at march participant ... She looked frightened and, wearing heels, looked like she was going to be pushed over backwards...
At this and other moments, the LASD riot officers refused to respond to requests from #Reclaim Pride organizers to speak with a commanding officer.
As the march continued, the officers held their guns (possibly to shoot tear gas or rubber bullets) in a threatening manner, as if they were itching to shoot the peaceful marchers...
In light of the tragic deaths in Orlando the night before and the arrest of a heavily-armed young man apparently headed to Pride that morning, the City and Sheriff’s Department decision to focus their law enforcement resources to aggressively confront peaceful demonstrators was grossly misplaced. By harassing and intimidating the #Reclaim Pride contingent they not only violated the rights of participants but diverted resources away from keeping Pride safe."