Resource: Multi-Ethnic Immigrant Workerd v. City of Los Angeles, California


May 1, 2007

Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

On May 1, 2007, thousands of nonviolent protestors gathered in many cities around the United States, including Los Angeles, to march in support of comprehensive immigration reform. At the march in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) used excessive force against a group of peaceful protestors in MacArthur Park. The LAPD declared the entire gathering an “unlawful assembly” and, speaking only in English, ordered all of the participants to disperse. The majority of the participants either did not hear or did not understand the orders to disperse because they spoke only Spanish. Riot-gear clad officers moved into the park on foot and shoved the group of peaceful protestors with batons. They also indiscriminately shot foam bullets and other munitions at persons in the park, including the elderly and young children. Hundreds of people, including peaceful protesters, journalists, and innocent bystanders, were injured as a result of the LAPD’s actions. Many people sustained major injuries that required medical treatment or hospitalization, and many others suffered emotional trauma as a result of the melee.