Los Angeles, CA – The Asian man wearing a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) shirt who riled up Black Lives Matter protesters while flashing white power signs and yelling “white power” in a viral video has been arrested for impersonating a police officer.
The LAPD began searching for the man after he showed up at a Black Lives Matter protest outside of 24-Hour Fitness on Jan. 31.
Black Lives Matter was camped out in front of the 24-Hour Fitness to protest the 2018 officer-involved shooting of Albert Ramon Dorsey.
Witnesses said the man wearing a long-sleeved shirt with LAPD department patches on it was saying “White Power” over and over again to the agitated group, and making hand gestures to signify the same, according to KTTV.
One of the protesters filmed the altercation and posted it on Twitter.
“LAPD OFFICER REPEATEDLY YELLS 'WHITE POWER' & THROWS UP WHITE POWER SIGN as he antagonizes the family of #AlbertRamonDorsey and #BlackLivesMatter protestors this morning at #Boycott24 demonstration outside 24-Hour Fitness in Hollywood,” was the caption on the video posted by Black Lives Matter – Los Angeles.
Police said that officers attempted to make contact with the man in the shirt, but that he fled on foot when they approached him, according to KTTV.
“We have become aware of an incident involving an individual making racially discriminating remarks in front of a gym in Hollywood this morning,” LAPD tweeted.
Police asked anyone for information to contact the department.
“At this point it does NOT appear that the individual in the video is an LAPD Officer, but we will continue to investigate,” LAPD tweeted.
At approximately 12:10 a.m. on Friday, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies stopped to check the welfare of a man sleeping in a vehicle in the 1200-block of North La Brea Avenue, the agency said in a press release.
Overnight parking was prohibited on that particular business’s property, police noted.
The deputies identified the man as 36-year-old Daniel Sohn, KTLA reported.
“Deputies noticed the male was wearing a long sleeve shirt with ‘LAPD’ logo on the front and patches on the sleeves,” the sheriff’s office said in the press release. “During the [deputies’] investigation, they recognized the person from a recent video posted on social media. In the video it shows the same male they were speaking to claiming to be a police officer to a group of people.”
After the deputies verified that Sohn is not a law enforcement officer, he was arrested for impersonating a police officer, and is being held on $2,500 bond.
He allegedly confessed that he often poses as a police officer in order to gain respect, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Joana Warren told KTLA.
Black Lives Matter co-founder Melina Abdullah, who is also a California State University professor, said that the group is now calling for people to boycott the gym where Sohn harassed them.
"24 Hour Fitness bears some responsibility in this," Abdullah told KTLA. "They have a right to refuse service, and so we're calling on 24 Hour Fitness not to have white supremacists."