LAPD riot squad. Courtesy: Flickr
African-American students at USC are accusing the LAPD of racial profiling after dozens of officers responded to a noise complaint at a party wearing riot gear.
Many of the students present at the party circulated videos of what they viewed as racial profiling by the LAPD.
In response to the outcry, an LAPD spokesperson says the department only responded in riot gear after beer bottles were thrown at them. Students attending the party say beer bottles were never thrown at officers.
The LAPD spokesman told USC’s student newspaper that police responded to a noise complaint at around 2AM Saturday and asked the DJ to turn down the music. The DJ reportedly complied with the officer’s request but when he began to use the microphone, officers shut down the party. Officers say some students refused to leave the party and began throwing beer bottles and that’s what prompted a call the riot squad.
Six students were arrested in the melee.
“When police arrived and told us to disperse, most students were leaving. But they came with excessive force pushing all of us out,” student Nate Howard told ABC News.
Lamar Gary, a student who was at the party, can be heard narrating video he took of the party and put on YouTube: “I want you to witness … LAPD right now. We were having fun at a college party. No one had a gun, it was straight up college students. IDs were checked at this party. No one had a gun. And there are 79 LAPD officers right now. I want you to realize there are 79 LAPD officers right now.”
Something I’d like to point out, unrelated to the content of the story - if this had been a different group of people (i.e. not African-American) then the newspaper wouldn’t use the word “accuses.” Headlines would read “Racial profiling at Party” and the article would talk about everything matter-of-fact as if it were obvious that racial profiling had taken place and the tone of the article would imply that the riot gear was a wrong move. However, because the subject of the article is a group of black kids, the media likes to act as if they don’t have an opinion - an accusation is being made, but it’s “unclear” as to what really happened. I’m sure that this is the end of this story in the media. Even if it were discovered that racial profiling was really happening in this case, that story wouldn’t get any coverage.