LA police stood down before May Day rally

May 4, 2007 at 12:25 PM
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LOS ANGELES, May 4 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles Police Department reportedly removed dozens of officers from protest duty just hours before violence broke out at Monday's immigration rally.

Sources told the Los Angeles Times that three platoons of the highly trained Metro Division were originally scheduled to be at MacArthur Park for the end of the immigration march and rally but instead were sent home or to other assignments, the newspaper reported.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the sources said the redeployments occurred shortly before a group of agitators began throwing rocks and bottles and other debris at officers.

The disclosure comes as the FBI opened an inquiry into the May Day rally that left 10 people injured.

Police Chief William J. Bratton says the department's investigations will focus on the actions of top brass as well as line officers.

"There were mistakes made here all the way up and down the line," Bratton said.

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