"And then I moved to Los Angeles in my twenties, and I became exposed to a different kind of policing. I became exposed to the LAPD. While reporting on Occupy LA‘s raid night, I watched cops beat peaceful activists with batons in a quiet side street. I wrote about it, and Mayor Villaraigosa called me a liar on CNN. While protesting outside a downtown jail, a friend of mine was physically assaulted by a Police Officer. Despite video evidence to the contrary, he was accused of felony resisting and encouraged to take a plea deal. He is now on probation for being assaulted by a Police Officer. I regularly saw homeless people on Skid Row harassed by police, arrested for sitting on the sidewalk, their belongings confiscated and never returned. As a white, British woman, I did not ever experience the same levels of abuse, oppression and harassment that I saw exacted upon people of color, the homeless, the mentally ill and other vulnerable, marginalized groups. But working as a community organizer and activist in Downtown LA and Skid Row made me realize that the Rodney King incident and the days of Rampart weren’t a part of history. They were part of the present. It is how the Los Angeles Police Department still operates today."
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