LAPD releases bodycam video of officers’ violent encounter with man in wheelchair during downtown L.A. protest

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LAPD on Sunday released body camera video of a July 14 encounter between officers and protesters in downtown Los Angeles, days after footage that showed officers pushing a man in a wheelchair drew widespread criticism on social media.

The clash happened around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday near Figueroa Street and Wilshire Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Bodycam video shows a protester yelling “don’t touch him” as two officers surrounded a man in a wheelchair, later identified by LAPD as 34-year-old Joshua Wilson.

It’s unclear what led to the confrontation between Wilson and an officer who stood in front of him, but footage shows tensions escalated when the man hit the officer in the face.

Officers then tried to restrain Wilson as protesters apparently tried to protect the man. Moments later, Wilson was seen on the ground as several officers worked on detaining him, bodycam video shows.

The group Active Advocate, which for weeks had been rallying in downtown L.A. against police violence, tweeted footage of the incident from a different angle. It showed police forcing Wilson off his wheelchair.

In another video posted to Instagram, officers struck at least one man with a baton as protesters tried to help Wilson.

LAPD later said officers at the police station found a loaded firearm in a backpack that had been on Wilson’ wheelchair. Authorities booked him on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, police said.

Wilson was treated for injuries, authorities said. He posted $35,000 bail and was released Thursday.

A use-of-force investigation is underway, the Police Department said.

According to LAPD, the incident unfolded as officers spoke with two women who appeared to be “in the midst of a mental health crisis.” Officers at one point saw a man pushing someone nearby. LAPD later identified that man as 53-year-old David Dixon, who was wanted on a warrant for assault with a deadly weapon.

Officials said as they worked on detaining Dixon and the two women, about 50 protesters in the area demanded that police release the three.

Bodycam video shows one person using a bullhorn leading marchers in chanting, “Let them go.”

That’s when a man who was not part of the group sprayed water onto police, intensifying the situation, protesters told the Los Angeles Times.

“The batons came out right away,” Charli Morachnick told the paper.

One man, identified by police as 30-year-old Mario Chacon of Glendora, appeared to try to get the officers to release one of the women handcuffed by police, bodycam video shows.

He allegedly tried to grab an officer’s baton, prompting “another use of force,” LAPD said.

Chacon also received medical treatment and now faces a charge of battery on a peace officer, according to police.

He was released Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 16, county records show.

Wilson, meanwhile, was set to be arraigned on Friday. The L.A. County District Attorney’s Office has not announced an update on his court appearance.

According to LAPD, three officers and a sergeant sustained minor injuries in the incident.

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