Did LAPD use deadly force when they subdued Ronald Weekley Jr. for skateboarding on the wrong side of the street, near his home in Venice, Ca. (at around 6 PM on Saturday)? A problem for LAPD in this incident, or really the police beating, is that it was carefully documented with so many eyewitnesses and a clear video, made with a smart phone (we haven’t heard yet who made the video, or what type of device was used).
It’s clear enough for me and quite a bit clearer than the Rodney King video from 20 years ago. I should mention, and just to be fair, it only captures the final moments when LAPD completely subdued this 20-year-old college student, Ronald Weekley Jr., who was merely doing some weekend, recreational skateboarding, before returning to Xavier University in Louisiana, where he’d been studying chemistry.
I can only see an officer punching Ron once, but from his known injuries sustained, we’d have to conclude the officers struck him hard many more times. Ron thought they were going to kill him, and eyewitnesses felt the same way, as the cops brutalized the young man (Ron is African American, and this needs mentioning). Weekly suffered a concussion, broken cheekbone, and broken nose.
The news conference on Tuesday (given in front of Ron’s Venice home with attorney Benjamin Crump) reveals a redden, swollen eye from the incident two days before. But was there anything that could have provoked these highly trained LAPD officers to (perhaps) over-react in such a drastic fashion?
Ron claims he went to the wrong side of the street (to continue with his skateboarding), since he saw some gangsters up to no good (near him on his same side of the street).
It’s ironic that Ron was actually trying to stay out of trouble by switching his position (or location) in the street. He suspected the gangsters were about to get into an altercation with the cops, and he knew to disassociate himself from this social mayhem.
In the same breath, the police must have spotted him fleeing from this pack (of wolves), then earmarked him as an associate of such same party. *(Note: a number of sources on the internet site the reasons why Ron changed sides of the street).
Several other bits of information back up a claim that Weekley was treated unfairly. After he was apprehended for resisting arrest, he was denied medical assistance, which was needed immediately, since he’d sustained some serious injuries.
Moreover, an AP story says an officer allegedly said Weekley was “just another (blank) from the hood.” Another comment I read about (from the LA Times), is where an officer told one of the officers involved in the beating: “Y’all didn’t beat him good enough.”
Yet another example of unfair treatment, is that Weekley wasn’t read his Miranda rights until his second day in jail. And one question I have, and this troubles me greatly, was Ron ever resisting arrest in the first place? How could he’ve been doing so if he was just going in the door of the house he lived in, when he was grabbed from behind by aggressive LAPD officers and tackled to the ground? Ron thought the officers were yelling at the gangster types.
I need to allow for the LAPD’s version of this strange incident in Venice last Saturday. They may have some good selling points for why they behaved in the ways they did. But with what looks like cops dolling out excessive force for no good reason, we have a plethora of documentation, which can’t be negated or skirted around too easily!
There were simply too many eyes on the street who got a view of this travesty from beginning to end. A black college student who just wanted to enjoy skating was brutalized unfairly. Although it didn’t go by unnoticed. Millions saw it on the internet.
Venice residents rally to support skateboarder – latimes.com