The driver of an SUV involved in a bloody weekend confrontation with a throng of motorcyclists feared for the life of his family inside when he drove through the crowd, striking a biker, his wife said Thursday.
Last weekend a pack of motorcyclists descended upon New York City and attacked a young family in their car, dragging the driver from his seat and beating him. Making matters worse, the New York Postreported Friday that an off-duty, undercover NYPD officer was riding with the bikers. He did not interfere with the beating, because, according to a law-enforcement source, “he didn't want to blow his cover.” The undercover officer came forward Wednesday night and has since lawyered up. None of the bikers who assaulted the SUV driver are under arrest -- and new photographic evidence suggests that as many as five bikers attacked the driver while his wife and 2-year-old were in the car.
One of those bikers was allegedly Robert Sims, 35, of Brooklyn. He was taken into custody Friday afternoon and charged with gang assault, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, attempted assault and attempted gang assault, a source told the New York Post. “Apparently he hit the guy.”
"Besides Sims only one other biker has been charged in the rampage despite videos, still photos and non-biker witness accounts from the broad-daylight attack.
Christopher Cruz, 28, of Passaic, NJ, faces misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and imprisonment for suddenly slowing his bike in front of the Range Rover, causing the fender-bender blamed for sparking the chase and violence.
Meanwhile, the only biker injured during the rampage threatened he may sue Lien for running him over with the Range Rover when he hit the gas as his SUV was first surrounded.
“He was attempting to diffuse the situation,” lawyer Gloria Allred said of Edwin Mieses, 32, whom she said may be paralyzed from the waist down “for the rest of his life.”
Mieses hasn’t had a valid license in his home state of Massachusetts since 1999, and haas never applied for a motorcycle license."
The New York Daily News reports that Undercover and off-duty cops were among the bikers that chased Lien and his family, and did nothing to stop the attack on Lien.
An undercover NYPD detective, afraid of blowing his cover, watched an angry motorcycle mob terrorize a defenseless man out for a drive with his wife and their 2-year-old daughter, the Daily News learned Friday.
An off-duty undercover cop was among the six people arrested in the beating of a New York City man after being chased by motorcyclists last week. While the cop, Wojciech Braszczok, told investigators that he didn’t help the victim because he arrived to the crime scene late, the New York Post obtained a video that showed he slapped the victim’s car window so hard that it broke. Braszczok, a 10-year veteran of the job was initially charged with criminal mischief, but on Wednesday prosecutors added a felony charge of gang assault. Braszczok was undercover during the Occupy Wall Street bust last year, and even attended meetings and lived with the protesters.
The motorcyclists chased Lien and eventually started attacking his car with his wife and baby daughter inside the vehicle. Lien was dragged out and then beaten and stomped on by at least six motorcyclists. A good Samaritan intervened, but motorcyclists also slammed the back seat windows, where the baby was sitting.
When Braszczok disclosed he had been at the race, he claimed he only witnessed the attack while on the off-duty ride. The AP reports, "But investigators discovered video evidence showing him punching an already damaged back window, then twice kicking the side of the SUV before leaving the scene, according to two people familiar with the case. The people weren’t authorized to discuss the inquiry and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity." NYPD internal affairs investigators had initially been looking into the undercover detective’s conduct because he didn’t report until three days later that he had been at the rally.
Members of Occupy Los Angeles say that recent efforts to clean the "skid row" area of the city are actually a ploy to eventually rid the area of its homeless population, so that a powerful group of lobbyists can begin efforts to help their clients realize plans to redevelop the area into profitable businesses.The CCA is a business group that lobbies city and state government to grease the wheels for development in downtown LA. They represent local businesses, as well as large corporations, such as Chevron, Walmart, Verizon, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo and Bank of America .
Police say that any property not placed in the city provided storage facility during the cleaning operations must be mobile, and kept moving all day long, until the one of the Injunctions kicks in at 9pm and people are allowed to sleep. At 6am, they must begin moving around again until the night. You can hear police explain in the video above "You cannot return to where you were, and you cannot stay where you are now." Come 9pm, the homeless have to find a new spot to sleep for the night because they are not allowed to return to the "cleaned" areas, and then each day the process begins again.
Occupy Los Angeles, LA CAN, Occupy the Hood, and Occupy Skid Row have all kept a presence in the area to protest the efforts of CCA, with Occupy LA reporting over this past weekend. From Occupy LA's website:
First thoughts written last night: ”4 Arrests in Midnight LAPD Raid on CCA Siege – Occupy Los Angeles – three of my best friends and roommates, and an unknown 4th man ARRESTED. Charges unknown. Police orchestrated tactical raid with 25+ cops, pepper spray out and batons were swinging. Captain Frank (at a compañera’s trial yesterday) pointed at her and said, “Don’t I know you?”. Another police officer told a fifth occupier that “You’re getting arrested tomorrow.”
I couldn’t move, trapped inside a tent and seeing silhouettes of gum-chewing cops, fidgety and in war-mode. LAPD’s true colors emerging.
You want to talk targeted kidnappings and terror? Cops were laughing as they pushed and hit us. Laughing as they sent 3 snatch squads and took my friends in the dead of night.”
We’re traumatized and enraged. Three of my roommates were snatched by LAPD last night. Bails are $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000…. they’ve been some of the most visible organizers with the siege on the Central City Association (1%’s lobby here in Los Angeles) for nearly a month. They have all been harassed, intimidated, brutalized, and arrested by the LAPD before. They have all been occupying for months and are inspiring in their defiance and rejection of the oppressive status quo.
The arrests began over alleged chalk drawings, despite the 9th circuit court decision of Mackinney vs. Neilson that states, “No chalk would damage a sidewalk.”
Since May 29, occupiers and homeless advocates have camped out each night in front of the CCA’s offices in downtown, as part of an ongoing “siege” protest that was originally only meant to last seven days. The action was coordinated by Occupy Los Angeles, Occupy the Hood, Occupy Skid Row and the Los Angeles Community Action Network.
Obviously, occupiers, who would prefer government to be free of corporate influences, are ideologically opposed to the lobby group. In fact, one could say the CCA is Occupy LA’s local archenemy.
Heather Meyer, an occupier who has been camping out in front of the CCA, said the lobby is “behind everything that is oppressive.” She cites as an example the groups opposition to the recently passed “Responsible Banking” ordinance, which requires banks doing business with the city to turn over information on loans and foreclosure activity and making it readily available to the public.
“They are the lobbyists for the one percent,” she said. “They are the epitome of money in politics.”
The CCA has done more than support bankers to irritate occupiers. The CCA also successfully opposed community efforts to block the construction of a Walmart in Chinatown. They helped kill a city ordinance that would have required hotels to keep their employees 90 days after a change of hotel ownership, according to their website.
As further evidence of the power the lobbyists at CCA wield, the report cites CCA announcing their intentions earlier this year to further lobby for more police resources for the skid row area. The LAPD soon after announcing 40 more officers being sent in to patrol despite there only being a “minor uptick in reported crime” in a neighborhood that “still reports some of the lowest crime levels in the city,” according to the Downtown News.
To explain the decision to respond so strongly to a minor uptick in crime, the LAPD stated:
In recent months, the department has been fielding more complaints from residents and businesses about aggressive panhandling and people sleeping on the sidewalk during the day, he said.
“We are having an increase in quality of life issues and we don’t want to lose any ground that we’ve gained in that area,” Perez said. “We want to stop the problem before it explodes. We’re just being proactive in our analysis and response to the area and understanding it.”
Interestingly enough, it sounds as if the increase in complaints began around the time CCA announced it would begin lobbying for more police...
If you continue to read the Downtown News article, it really does a great job of making skid row sound bad. I've seen it, it's a depressing and disturbing area that seems like you've crossed some great divide into an undeveloped nation. So many people with nowhere else to call home. Then it finishes with a quote from CCA's CEO:
“There hasn’t been an area in the entire county of Los Angeles that has not benefited from making Downtown come alive,” said Schatz. “When people are sleeping on the streets… it affects our ability to continue to attract investment and continue to make this Downtown thrive.”
As I read that quote, it didn't sound to me as if what happens to the people of skid row was a priority, or even a concern at all.
I'll keep you posted on any updates on the situation.
Manuel Ramos, a police officer from Fullerton, California, has been charged with second degree murder for allegedly beating a mentally-ill homeless person to death last year. His co-worker, Officer Jay Cicinelli, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force. This video from a surveillance camera shows Kelly Thomas, the victim, pleading for his life while the officers beat him on the street.
The case has been particularly emotional for Ron Thomas, who has been forced to watch the video of his son's beating and listen to the heartbreaking pleas. At one point, Kelly Thomas cries out, "Dad, they are killing me!"
In an earlier interview, Ron Thomas said the hardest part of the video and audio "is the sounds of my son calling out."
Rackauckas presented the case himself, playing a dramatic, never-before-seen video that showed a shirtless Thomas being pummeled and held down by Fullerton police officers.
Rackauckas said Ramos "turned a routine encounter into a brutal beating death" while Cicinelli "assisted in the killing of Kelly Thomas" by "smashing his face" with the butt of a Taser stun gun and applying his own weight on Thomas' torso.
A coroner's pathologist said Thomas died of chest compression and blood from his facial wounds.
Thomas, who was a diagnosed schizophrenic, sustained neck and head injuries during his encounter with Fullerton police. He was taken to UCI Medical Center where he spent the last days of his life in a coma, until his parents made the decision to remove him from life support.