Anti-police activists decry rough arrest, protest ex-officer running for City Council

Anti-police protestors rallied in Downtown Long Beach Sunday and brought their message to the nearby campaign office of a former LBPD officer running for City Council.

Organizers said the protest was in response to a video of an LBPD officer hitting a man’s legs with a baton as police arrested him on suspicion of trying to carjack several people. Police said the man was refusing to obey officers.

Long Beach chapters of Antifa, the People’s Revolutionary Party and the Democratic Socialists of America urged people to fight back and supported cutting the department’s funding.

“This is a call to action against the LBPD, against all police violence, and against the existence of policing,” the Long Beach Anarchist Collective said in a statement on Feb. 20.

A small crowd gathered at Harvey Milk Park Sunday morning before the group rallied outside the Downtown police station and the campaign office of Cindy Allen, a former police officer and advertising executive who is running for the 2nd District City Council seat.

“Cindy Allen’s campaign staff scurried like roaches when they saw us coming,” DSA Long Beach tweeted. “Guess they don’t want to talk to actual LB residents!”

Allen said she was at the office where about four people were phone banking. She said she felt intimidated and reported the protesters to police.

Allen said the group yelled profanity, wrote or etched messages meaning “[expletive] the police” on the building’s windows and violently tried to open the locked door.

Jordan Doering, who helped organize the protest, said the group only lightly pulled on the doors.

“When we got there we saw nobody inside & proceeded to peacefully give speeches & chant in front of the office,” he said in an email. “It is also odd that the Allen campaign would make these claims considering I watched them lock up the office & scurry off to drive away in their cars as soon as they saw the coalition coming.”

Police confirmed they were investigating anti-police vandalism found at the office. Nobody was arrested during the incident, LBPD officer Ben Hearst said.

A Long Beach Police Department vehicle is parked in front of the campaign office of 2nd District council candidate Cindy Allen after anti-police protestors demonstrated in front of the building on the morning of Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Allen said protestors vandalized her office and violently attempted to open the office door. Photo by Curtis Herod.

A Long Beach Police Department vehicle is parked in front of the campaign office of 2nd District council candidate Cindy Allen after anti-police protestors demonstrated in front of the building on the morning of Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Allen said protestors vandalized her office and violently attempted to open the office door. Photo by Curtis Herod.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated there were 25 volunteers inside the campaign office when in fact there were about four. Allen clarified that there were about 25 protesters outside.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. Growing up as one of six kids in the working-class immigrant suburb of South Gate, she was taught the importance of civic engagement and to show compassion for others. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015. An avid Harry Potter fan, Stephanie now lives in Bixby Knolls with her boyfriend and their bearded dragon, Austin.
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