MacArthur Park meltdown

The LAPD went all Rodney King on pro-immigration demonstrators in MacArthur Park, prompting recriminations and regrets. As our friend “Bama Jim” Dunn of Do What Now? notes:

The LAPD chief is all broke up over this. But that’s nothing. Someone left the cake out in the rain. I don’t think that I can take it, ’cause it took so long to bake it, and I’ll never have that recipe againnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not that it takes much to get Jim waxing nostalgic – the boy dreams of 1950s gadgets, hairstyles, and casseroles – but the irony is apparent in Peter Prengaman’s report for the Associated Press:

Police Chief William J. Bratton said Wednesday that some of the police tactics used to clear immigration protesters from a park were inappropriate, as news videos showed officers striking people with batons and firing rubber bullets into crowds that included children.

Images showed police hitting a television cameraman to the ground and shoving people who were walking away from officers at Tuesday’s demonstration. Some injured people were seen in the videos, including a Hispanic man with a bleeding welt on his stomach and back.

Bratton promised an investigation and said he would discuss the matter further at a news conference later Wednesday.

“Quite frankly, I was disturbed at what I saw,” Bratton told KNX-AM. He said the actions of some officers “were inappropriate in terms of use of batons and possible use of nonlethal rounds fired.”

* * * * *

The clash at MacArthur Park started after 6 p.m. when police tried to disperse demonstrators who had moved off the sidewalk onto the street. Authorities said several of the few thousand people still at the rally threw rocks and bottles at officers, who fired rubber bullets and used batons to push the crowd back onto the sidewalk.

“They were pushing children, elderly, mothers with their babies and beating up on the media,” said Angela Sambrano, director of the Central American Resource Center. “The aggressiveness against the immigrant community is unbelievable.”

Read the full story at the link above.

A little “wiki” background on the park, besides the song:

Despite the rather poetic homage paid to it, the real MacArthur Park became known for being a violent place after 1985 when drug deals, shoot-outs and occasional drownings became somewhat common there. Before the decline of the neighborhood, the park featured the traditional paddle-boats and a large fountain in the center of the lake; the park was a popular middle-class destination for over fifty years. The park has been cleaned up and gentrification is occurring all around the surrounding area of Downtown Los Angeles.,

Can’t you just see all the “gentry” saying, “Hey, Madge – come quick! They’re a’beatin’ the Mexicans!”

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