Dear Zack de la Rocha,

My name is Don Souza, and I write this letter remembering where I was 18 years ago, as fate would have it, I was your Cameraman, capturing the last live RATM show at the Grand Olympic Auditorium and the DNC at the Staples Center.

I want to say thank you for the words you shared with me right before your last live show, the topic was Police brutality, the example was what happened a week earlier when I filmed my own Police attack at the DNC in front of the Staples Center.

I was filming in the protest area when Rage took the stage. You had a great set, then I think the Police pulled your power early.

After the sun went down, Ozomatli started a drum train through the crowd, people started burning a flag, tear gas was being sprayed, and that’s when I noticed the Los Angeles Riot Police starting to physically block off the only 3 exits [for about 10,000 people], then they started firing shotguns with rubber bullets and bean bags at us, and I’m a Cameraman… so I ran toward the Riot Police firing line, and that’s when I first saw the Los Angeles Police Riot patrol on horses trampling people and swinging 4’ batons hitting anything they could reach.

The video shows the rest. About 6 Los Angeles Police Officers suited up in full military riot gear on horses were blocking our exit, we all stopped for a second, then the Police charged us. I turned and ran toward the corner of the protest area. Seeing that they were heading toward me trampling people and beating them with their batons, I got on my knees in the gutter, held up my credentials and camera to shield my self the best I could while yelling “where do we go, where do we go?”

I was able to dodge a couple swings, but the Police Officer in front had his horse move in on me and then he took a golf swing at me, shattering the camera and my hand. I saw the tape hit the ground, I scooped it up, ran between the horses, right back into the Police shooting rubber bullets at me.

Seven days later I was back stage at the Grand Olympic Auditorium sawing my cast open with a hacksaw so I could hold the camera straight because Richter at Earthquake put me handheld in the pit, so the cast had to go. (video above)

That’s about when you walked up to check on the broken hand situation, I thought that was really cool that you took the time.

I purchased the Live DVD as soon as it came out to see if any of my footage made the cut. Needless to say I was floored that so much of my camera made it in, and that you ended the entire Live DVD with my police attack…

Then a Special Thanks to me at the end?? Wow! Thank you all, speechless…

Thank You #RATM