As tension on Southern California streets slowly eases following more than a week of protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, video footage capturing recent violent encounters between police and protesters continues to emerge.
From demonstrators being struck with batons, pepper balls and rubber bullets to police vehicles colliding with protesters, many of the videos and images depict acts of excessive force by police, according to those who recorded and posted them.
A video posted to Twitter by witness Matt McGorry, taken in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles on Saturday, appears to show Los Angeles police officers repeatedly striking demonstrators with batons and firing pepper balls.
McGorry said the violence came without provocation.
Recent USC graduate Laura Montilla, 22, took to Instagram to share her experience being arrested for violating curfew during a protest in downtown Los Angeles on Monday.
“It’s so ironic. We’re protesting police brutality,” she told KTLA.
“We were zip-tied. I was placed on a bus where it’s a bunch of cages. Our arms are pulled back so tight you just can’t even move,” she said.
The group was held on the bus for five hours, Montilla said.
“People were urinating on themselves, some people were vomiting on themselves just from the anxiety,” she said. “They turned music on, like all the way up, and it was … heavy metal and rock music, and it played for like 20 to 30 minutes. And that’s when people really started losing it.”
Montilla said she witnessed an officer tighten the zip-ties around a young woman’s wrists “to the point where she cried in pain until another officer said it went too far.”
“They attempted to cut off the cuff with bolt cutters but only managed to slice her hand open & left the cuff on her for her to figure out how to remove it herself,” Montilla wrote in her Instagram account. “She was sent up the hill in the dark, still cuffed, bleeding and phone-less.”
Despite her negative experience, Montilla said she will not stop demonstrating.
“A hundred percent. I’ll be out there, still protesting,” she said.
The Los Angeles Police Department said recent protests, coupled with looting, turned violent and at times became dangerous for both the police and the public. Thousands of people have been arrested.
The department added that it was aware of allegations of police misconduct, and urged anyone who believed they had been mistreated to file a complaint.
Graphic photographs posted online by a Southern California News Group photographer on Wednesday showed a man in a wheelchair bleeding profusely from a head wound. He’d been shot with a rubber bullet by the LAPD, according to the photographer.
A video published online Wednesday by the Los Angeles Times showed eight LAPD officers detaining a woman as the sound of a Taser can be heard crackling. Residents of a nearby apartment building can be heard screaming at the officers to stop.
Another video that emerged on social media Tuesday showed Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies firing pepper balls from a moving patrol vehicle toward the backs of five people running away from them.
The videotaped violent arrest of a looting suspect in Compton, in which the suspect is seen being repeatedly punched and kneed by deputies, drew outrage from Compton Mayor Aja Brown, who demanded and expedited investigation into the Sunday incident.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Wednesday that said investigations are ongoing into the incidents involving his deputies.
Meanwhile, four California legislators announced Thursday that they intended to introduce a bill setting standards for when police may use less-lethal projectiles, such as rubber bullets.