On a cool Saturday in late March, Los Angeles police responded to a party in the predominantly African American Hyde Park neighborhood.Profanity-laced video from the scene shows officers in riot gear forming a skirmish line and using their side-handle batons to push back angry revelers, mostly women who had been celebrating the birthday of a baby who had just turned 1.No arrests were reported, but the heavy-handed tactics prompted some to question why black people got the riot treatment while predominantly white demonstrators protesting stay-at-home orders were allowed to gather across the state without a similar reaction from law enforcement.A protestor waits outside a vehicle with a sign reading ”FreeThemAll” during a Pueblo Sin Fronteras-organized car rally protesting the alleged pepper-spraying of immigrant women detained at the Otay Mesa Detention Center, in San Diego, California on April 11, 2020.Bing Guan / ReutersAuthorities have responded by saying that some events, like the party and another celebration broken up in South Los Angeles on April 17, were not matters of social distancing but of “disturbance” reports from neighbors.”The Los Angeles Police Department is consistent in the way we enforce the Mayor’s ‘Safer at Home’ Directive,” LAPD spokesman Josh Rubenstein said by email.


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