LOS ANGELES -- The union representing Los Angeles police has filed a lawsuit accusing the department of violating its own policies and state employment safety rules by ordering officers not to wear helmets during a rally last month in Westwood.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
During the demonstration, an officer was hit over the head with a wooden sign. He was taken to a local hospital, but was not seriously injured.
The league says officers on-scene decided against wearing helmets because they feared it would escalate passions among protesters.
The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order against the city to prevent them from telling officers not to wear helmets.
"The LAPD's own emergency operations guide clearly states: 'Do not assign officers without helmets, vests and batons to crowd control missions,'" union President Paul Weber told the Los Angeles Times in a statement. "We firmly believe the law is on our side -- helmets and face shields should be worn in large protest situations to prevent injury to officers and to help manage large groups of people who want to exercise their 1st Amendment rights."
Top LAPD commanders have said officer safety is a priority during demonstrations, but they say, the tactics officers use for crowd control should be based on the specific situation.