The union representing rank and file Los Angeles Police Officers filed a labor grievance Friday demanding that officers be required to war safety equipment while trying to control crowds in street marches and other gatherings.
The grievance, filed with the city, stems from a recent protest in Westwood by people protesting against Israel's invasion of the Gaza strip. The Police Protective League says that LAPD commanders ordered officers not to don helmets and face shields out of concern that the gear would incite the crowd. One officer was lightly injured when he was hit on the head by a protester wielding a wooden handle.
LAPD Deputy Chief Terry Hara, incident commander for the protest, has denied the claim that he gave an order forbidding officer from wearing helmets.
In its complaint, the union calls on the LAPD to require all officers to war the safety gear in crowd control situations and retrain supervisors.