Copyright 2010 LibertyFight.com
I wish I had the audio and video to post along with this story; it’s very seldom that I do not include an article without multiple links. This article relies not on hyperlinks, but rather, describes the unbelievable truth of what happened at the original Laker’s “riot” in June 2000 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. In my archives I do have the live, copyrighted audio of this event, which aired on L.A. radio at the time, and will post it someday on youtube when I dig it out.
I am reminded of this, of course, because of the latest news reports which claim that rowdy fans once again started rioting outside Staples center, with multiple cars lit on fire, arrests, injuries, and one cop with a broken nose.
In June 2000, the Lakers won their first of a long string of NBA championship series which spanned the decade. They were playing the Indiana Pacers and won game seven in Los Angeles. The game of course was sold out, but the Staples Center decided to show the game on a big screen outside for fans who didn’t have tickets yet wanted to share in the fun.
I worked for a radio station in Hollywood at the time, and was covering the crowd and festivities outside.
What happened that night shaped; you may say altered, my perception of the world as I saw it, and forever changed my opinion of so-called “law enforcement”.
I was conducting numerous interviews with fans as they arrived and entered the game, and also with those milling about having a good time. During the week of finals, I had seen a few celebrities and interviewed them on their way in; Josh Taylor of ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ as well as blonde bombshell Sabryn Genet of ‘The Young and the Restless’ fame. The atmosphere was very festive, happy and fun. No one was fighting, and the anticipation of victory loomed as the final seconds of the game counted down. Once the game ended with the Lakers being pronounced “world champions”, the crowd, of course, went wild with glee. I’ve never considered myself an obsessive sports fanatic; sure, there’s nothing wrong with watching an occasional ballgame, but it was nevertheless an interesting cultural phenomenon to see all these people getting so riled up.
As paid fans exited the Staples Center, many were willling to share the joy and festivities of the victory. Something about a feeling of community pride, I guess. But then, something odd and strikingly out of place suddenly happened. Police in riot gear, marching as if they were in an army exersize, started marching in line westward down the street towards the Staples Center. They had helmets and wielded batons, with angry and aggressive mannerisms as they approached the crowd. More than one “what the hell?” or other such inquiries could be heard from the startled crowd of formerly reveling spectators.
What happened next was several hours of swinging batons, shouting orders, corralling innocent fans, and preventing people from exiting the stadium to get to their cars. Chaos quickly ensued as LAPD officers swarmed in from all directions, swinging, shouting and conflicting with the public. I nearly got hit by more than one maniacal pigs batons. (yes, if the title fits, I’m not afraid to use it.)
Now I was working, and I was not a thug, a rioter, or a trouble maker. I was there with a press pass of a large corporation, doing a job, and was held , corralled, with a group of about 50 others between a fence and a burning newsvan. They were ordering us to go closer towards the burning newsvan, which is an outright insane thing to do. I didn’t see who lit the newsvan on fire, but based on how this incident went down, along with widespread data available on such matters today, it would not surprise me if some agent provocateur working for the cops did it.
At one point I refused to go any further, and stated on audio to the cops that I was not going any further. “That’s the way you going”, shouted a nasty, thuggish cop named Officer Jonson. I still remember his name. He was a black cop, and when he told me that I said his name into the mic.” Officer Johnson told me that’s the way I’m going?”, I said, and he replied again “That’s right, officer Johnson”.
On the other side of the burning newsvan there was an approximately ten foot tall chain link fence that had been erected near the entrance. No one was allowed to leave for some time, and even the fire truck was prevented from entering the area because of the mass crowd of cops which would not let them in. I interviewed many of the people who were corralled with me, including a middle aged black woman from Indiana who was the personal guest of one of the Indiana Pacer players. She just could not believe or fathom why the LAPD would act this way. Why were they treating fans as if they were the enemy, and literally starting a riot and enciting anger among the public?
In restrospect, I now know that is how police and government in general, operate. They create crisis, on both large and small scales, to justify their bloated budgets, their very existence, and to pass more restrictive behavior controls and laws.
I finally was ‘allowed’ to exit the Stadium area after several hours, along with my fellow detainees. My throat was sore and my voice hoarse from being forced to breathe the smoke from the burning vehicle for so long. I was disgusted and in shocked disbelief from what I had just witnessed, and the event took some time to process. Sure, I had known about corrupt cops before; but never to the extent, never in precision operational mode on such a mass scale, as I had witnessed firsthand there.
The next day I did a live interview with the LAPD spokesman, which was broadcast on my show. The spokesman lied outright, and claimed that no one was detained, that no one was forced to go towards a fire, and that we had all been free to leave at any time. Of course, I later played the audio of myself, the witnesses, and officer Johnson interspersed with the LAPD hack’s lies, just to illustrate my point.
I never did get any satisfactory answers, nor did I ask any more questions, for that matter; since they acted so blatant and crazy as to deny the sky is blue and that water is wet, there seemed no point to continue it.
A few months later though, the 2000 Democratic National Convention took place at the same Staples Center. That was also an interesting experience; although this time, I was fully versed on the outright shocking corruption of the LAPD and their criminal tactics. I remember the night when Rage Against the Machine was about to play for the protesters; I saw the riot coming, once again initiated by the cops, and exited stage left before it began. Driving home, I heard news reports of cops tazing and pepper spraying hundreds of people at the concert.
So, when you watch the tv news and hear reports about those ‘crazy violent LA fans’, just remember the quiet Catholic kid, the former altar boy, who wouldn’t hurt anyone, and does not lie about people. I attest and confirm with an absolutely clear conscience that the cops, pigs out of control, absolutely started the LA Laker riots of 2000 at Staples Center, and probably started all of the riots since then, including the one last night. They for their own sake, as well as all of those in authority positions who conduct such wicked deeds, had better repent and ask God Almighty for forgiveness.
“If thou shalt see the oppressions of the poor, and violent judgments, and justice perverted in the province, wonder not at this matter: for he that is high hath another higher, and there are others still higher than these: Moreover there is the king that reigneth over all the land subject to him.” Ecclesiastes 5:7-8
“If it be possible, as much as is in you, have peace with all men. Revenge not yourselves, my dearly beloved; but give place unto wrath, for it is written: Revenge is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12:18-19