VENICE, Calif. -- A Venice skateboarder who says Los Angeles
police officers unnecessarily beat him has laid out new details about
the controversial arrest.
20-year-old Ron Weekley Jr. said at a news conference on Tuesday that he
thought he was "going to die" during the Saturday incident.
He has retained
nationally-prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who also
represents Trayvon Martin's family.
Weekley was skateboarding in front
of his home on Saturday afternoon when he claims four LAPD officers used
excessive force to arrest him.
Police say they stopped Weekley because he was riding his skateboard on the wrong side of the road.
"Was he stopped becasue he was on the wrong side of the road or was he
attacked because he was the wrong color?" Crump asked on Tuesday.
Weekley's family provided video of the incident, which shows
four officers on top of Weekly as he lies prone on the ground.
There is a point on the video where an officer can be seen striking him in the head with his fist.
Weekly has been charged with interfering with an officer and using force while resisting officers.
One of the officers involved used his two way radio to call for backup,
saying: "I need back up. 6th and Sunset. Combative suspect."
The officer then called for a rescue ambulance: "Need an R.A. for a
male, conscious, breathing, 25 years old. He's going to have contusions
to the body and face."
At Tuesday's news conference, held outside a Venice church, witnesses said Weekley offered no resistance to officers.
"With four police officers on me like they are the video, there's
nothing I could do," he said. "When the officers were striking me in the
face, I could do nothing but scream for help."
Weekley said he suffered a broken nose, a broken cheekbone and a concussion.
An LAPD source said that the police report on the incident says
Weekley was arguing with officers, gesturing with a clenched fist, and
then he reached out and touched an officer's gun belt.
"That's not true," Weekley insisted on Tuesday, with Crump by his side.
Weekley's family says they believe he was racially profiled and they're
demanding justice, as well as changes within the police department.
"We want the chief of police to not only do an investigation, but we
want him to train his officers better becasue they work in ethnic
communities," his father, Ron Weekley Sr., said.
The LAPD says that the incident is being investigated by internal
affairs and will be reviewed at the highest level of the department.
In a statement, LAPD Cmdr. "An officer may use
reasonable and necessary force to affect an arrest, overcome resistance
or prevent the escape of a suspect."
He added: "Use of force by offices may include striking a suspect with an officers' fist if the suspect is resisting arrest."
Smith said he did not know if the officers involved had been put on leave.
In: Regional News
Tags: Venice, CA, Skateboarder, Hires, Trayvon, Martin, Attorney
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
Views: 1343 | Comments: 55 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
|Liveleak on Facebook|