A Black Los Angeles Lakers fan was overcome with joy as he celebrated the team's 17th NBA Championship alongside other fans. Then, he was seemingly knocked unconscious as a Los Angeles Police Department officer pushed him to the ground and walked by without checking on him. Soon thereafter, other fans stepped in to make sure that he was in good health before helping him to his feet.
Video the violent incident emerged on October 12 after the Los Angeles Lakers had returned home from Orlando, Florida. Officers can be seen moving past the man without offering to help and a concerned fan is heard asking, "Are you shot?" After learning of the incident, the LAPD issued a short statement.
“There is currently a on going administration investigation on this incident," the department stated.
Instead, the department issued a longer statement regarding the actions of other fans. In the hours after the Lakers defeated the Miami Heat to win the NBA title, officers arrested 76 people and reported that three citizens were “injured by less-lethal munitions fired by our officers.” Law enforcement complained of individuals “throwing glass bottles, rocks, and other projectiles at officers.”
“Eight police officers were also injured and received medical treatment. More than 30 buildings and establishments were damaged by the crowd, as well as a city MTA bus,” the Los Angeles Department stated.
Reports of mass arrests and use of "less-lethal munitions" come during a year in which tensions between citizens and law enforcement continue to worsen. In states across the country, civilians have highlighted the long lasting injuries that can be sustained from "less-lethal munitions." Also, activists across the country have raised concerns regarding the health and safety of citizens in jails as the COVID-19 pandemic looms.
In the coming days, the department will conduct an internal investigation to determine if any others acted in an inappropriate manner.
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