Police Throw Black Lives Matter Protester Out of Wheelchair, Then Break It in Viral Video

Police have arrested a man who was allegedly thrown out of his wheelchair by officers in Tuesday's Black Lives Matter protests in downtown Los Angeles.

Two others were taken into custody after "several individuals in a group of protesters attempted to interfere and free a man and two women, who were in police custody," according to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

The man in the wheelchair, Joshua Wilson, was among the protesters and reportedly "punched an officer in the face and a use of force occurred between the officers and Wilson," the police statement said.

According to a video of the incident shared on Instagram by @activeadvocate, officers and protesters were seen surrounding the wheelchair, which appeared to have been thrust backward and saw the man fall to the ground.

Police appeared to pull the wheelchair away from the man and threw it aside, which saw one of the wheels break off, while a passerby filmed the incident on her cell phone.

The video of the incident has been shared by several users on Twitter, including American actor Daniel Newman, whose post has had around 4,900 retweets since.

Another man, Mario Chacon, reportedly attempted to grab a baton from an officer, which led to "another use of force," police said, as officers tried to stop him. The crowd tried to pull Chacon away from the officers who arrested him for battery on an officer, the police report said.

At the police station, officers were reported to have found a loaded firearm in Wilson's backpack, which was said to have been on his wheelchair. He was seen by medical personnel before he was taken into custody for being an "ex con with a firearm," the police report said.

The officers were said to have been conducting an investigation involving two women who had shown indications of being in the midst of a mental health crisis when the latest incident took place.

This is what happened in downtown LA yesterday. They knocked a disabled man out of his wheelchair and took it away. Absolutely disgusting. This was a PEACEFUL protest!! #BLMprotest #BlackLivesMatter #DefundPolice pic.twitter.com/Uxqv9nhum6

— Natalie Fung (@natleef) July 15, 2020

During their investigation, police arrested 53-year-old David Dixon, who "had a felony warrant for assault with a deadly weapon," police confirmed. While preparing to leave the area with Dixon and the two women, around 50 protesters marching in the area were reported to have surrounded the officers while chanting "Let them go," the police report said.

"Chacon received medical treatment at a local hospital, was treated and released and booked for battery on a peace officer. Dixon was booked for a felony warrant. Three officers and one sergeant suffered minor injuries during the incident and received medical treatment," police confirmed.

Newsweek has contacted the LAPD and the office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for comment.

The latest incident comes amid mass demonstrations in protest of police brutality following the killing of George Floyd, who died after being pinned to the ground with a knee on his neck during an arrest made by the Minneapolis Police Department.

The four Minneapolis officers involved in the incident were fired and later charged in Floyd's death. One of the former officers was charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while the other three were charged with aiding and abetting murder.

Last month, a 75-year-old man fell to the ground and bled from his ear after being struck by two Buffalo police officers in upstate New York during a protest.

protest march los angeles July 2020
Activists and supporters of the Black and Brown Unity March during a march in Los Angeles, California on July 12, 2020. Getty Images