In the middle of a pro-Occupy video infused with over-heated narration about fascists, automatic weapons and gas, City News Service reporter Calvin Milam is observed being thrown to the ground and arrested after he crosses (outbound) through the police skirmish line outside City Hall during the Nov. 30 eviction of Occupy LA. The LAPD later told LA Weekly he was drunk, belligerent and not working; the video doesn't show his level of belligerence, but it does appear to show him displaying his media card (paid reporters at mainstream news operations typically carry a "credential" issued by the LAPD media office) before he crosses through the line to leave the scene. Milam says he hasn't had a drink in 20 years, and he did a CNS byline that night.
Milam says he was kept handcuffed for six hours, had to post $5,000 bond, and has a Jan. 6 arraignment date. He has retained attorney Mark Geragos to represent him in whatever future dealings with the city ensue. We don't know what words were exchanged first, but he clearly did do the key thing they say he did: cross the police line by squeezing between two officers.
LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith told City Maven that the arrest will be reviewed by internal affairs, and said the department’s original account appears to differ so much from the video due to a major miscommunication between the arresting officers and Media Relations.
Milam's encounter begins at about 3:22 in the video.
Pool photo by Frank Stoltze