The man seen wearing a Los Angeles Police Department shirt while shouting “white power” at Black Lives Matter protest late last month was arrested after trying to represent himself as an officer to deputies in West Hollywood early Friday morning, officials said.
Investigators will be seeking additional victims after the man admitted that he habitually impersonates a police officer to get respect, L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Joanna Warren said.
But for now, sheriff’s detectives are working with LAPD to gather more information before releasing the suspect’s name and booking photo, Warren said.
Deputies made contact with the man around 12:10 a.m. as he was sleeping in a vehicle outside a business that doesn’t allow overnight parking on the 1200 block of North La Brea Avenue, according to a sheriff’s news release.
“As they made contact with the man to check his welfare deputies noticed the male was wearing a long sleeve shirt with ‘LAPD’ logo on the front and patches on the sleeves,” the release states. The deputies then recognized him from the widely viewed Black Lives Matter protest video.
It was shot by members of the group who had convened at a 24 Hour Fitness in Hollywood to protest the gym staff’s handling of a man who was in a locker room cordoned off for renovation last year.
Staff called LAPD to report that 30-year-old Albert Ramon Dorsey had already assaulted a parking lot security guard the day before and was now trespassing, and the police officers who responded wound up fatally shooting the unarmed Dorsey, who they said was not complying and punched one of the officers.
Video captured by BLM at the Jan. 31 demonstration shows a man — who appears to be of Asian descent — wearing the shirt described by deputies chanting “white power” and flashing a white supremacist hand signal as he was leaving the gym.
Melina Abdullah, co-founder of BLM’s L.A. chapter and a professor at Cal State L.A., was at the demonstration. She said the man antagonized and harassed the protestors.
Although he had represented himself as an LAPD officer to the activists, police later determined he is not a member of their force.
BLM is now calling for boycott of gym, which the group says should have no space for white supremacists.
“24 Hour Fitness bears some responsibility in this,” Abdullah said. “They have a right to refuse service, and so we’re calling on 24 Hour Fitness not to have white supremacists.”
Anyone with information about the suspect can submit an anonymous tip via 800-222-8477 or LACrimeStoppers.org.
Photo Credit: KTLA