L.A. police investigating use-of-force incident caught on video involving man in wheelchair during protest
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC —
The Los Angeles Police Department says it is investigating a video that shows officers trying to arrest a man in a wheelchair during a recent protest in downtown L.A.
The footage posted on social media shows officers knocking the protester out of his wheelchair and piling on top of him to arrest him during the protest Tuesday afternoon. The video is now a key element in the department’s use-of-force investigation.
On Sunday, LAPD released body cam video from the incident on July 14.
Officers were in the area for a separate incident involving a man and two women who appeared to be “in the midst of a mental health crisis” when they say a group of about 50 protesters who were marching nearby “surrounded the officers and began chanting ‘Let them go’,” according to a press release from the department.
The man in the wheelchair, identified as Joshua Wilson, punched an officer in the face, police say. As he was being taken into custody, an officer saw another man “try to grab one of the officers’ equipment.” That man was eventually booked for battery on a peace officer.
Officers say they later found a loaded firearm in Wilson’s backpack, which was on his wheelchair.
“In the coming days, we plan on releasing a critical incident video which will include body worn video that captured the use of force,” the LAPD told Eyewitness News in a statement.
Wilson was medically evaluated before he was booked for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
One of the officers involved in the incident sent out a “help call” and numerous officers responded to the area. The crowd was told to disperse from the area and continue with the march.
Three officers and one sergeant suffered minor injuries during the incident and received medical treatment.