LAPD under investigation after reports of excessive force at Wi Spa protests

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Vishal Singh, center, a documentary filmmaker, alleged he was struck with a baton by a police officer during a protest outside a Westlake spa on July 17, 2021. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

Vishal Singh, center, a documentary filmmaker, alleged he was struck with a baton by a police officer during a protest outside a Westlake spa on July 17, 2021. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that officials were investigating allegations of excessive force by officers during dueling protests over transgender rights at a Westlake spa Saturday.

During a meeting of the civilian Police Commission, Moore said 41 arrests were made — 40 failure to disperse after an unlawful assembly was declared and one for possession of illegal or prohibited items at a protest. He said officers recorded firing projectiles 10 times and striking people with batons nine times.

Several protestors alleged they were injured by police when they posed no threat. While Moore said that officials would investigate allegations of misconduct, he emphasized that videos being posted on social media only showed certain perspectives and alleged that activists were “essentially shopping clips and snippets” online that distort facts.

Saturday morning’s confrontation between left-wing and far-right-wing groups, the second this month outside the Wilshire Boulevard Wi Spa, was triggered by a viral video in which a woman at the spa complained about seeing a customer with a penis in an area that is reserved for women. The footage was quickly amplified by an international network of right-wing activists, pundits and media outlets.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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