A graphic videotape of two California Highway Patrol officers clubbing two anti-war activists during a Persian Gulf war protest became the latest addition to the growing controversy over police violence.
The tape, taken by a freelance cameraman, shows two CHP officers wielding batons against Aaron Lamperti, 26, and Elihu Rosenblatt, 23, as they sat on the shoulder of a Highway 101 offramp in San Francisco Jan. 17 with 15 to 20 other demonstrators.Lamperti's leg was broken with a blow to his right leg as he sat on the roadside. He was hospitalized two days. Rosenblatt was struck several times on the legs, hand and shoulder, sustaining cuts and bruises.
Neither man was arrested.
The American Civil Liberties Union released the tape Wednesday in conjunction with the filing of a civil damage claim against the state on behalf of Lamperti and Rosenblatt.
The claim accuses the CHP of excessive use of force. If the state fails to resolve the claim, the men have the right to file civil lawsuits.
The CHP launched an investigation of the incident Jan. 18, according to CHP Commissioner Maury Hannigan. Both officers will be on administrative assignment until the matter can be resolved.
Edward Davis, attorney for the two men, told reporters Wednesday, "What you have seen shows at least a lack of training, a lack of policy in the CHP and a lack of control."