Venice Beach is looking like a war zone -- this footage shows police officers armed with assault rifles detaining a group of homeless people, but cops say the tense incident was misrepresented on social media.
The video does seem rather menacing -- the heavily-armed LAPD officers were questioning 5 homeless people sitting on their knees in front of a makeshift encampment, with their hands in the air.
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... this happened in the afternoon of July 25, when police got a call reporting a man brandishing a gun and threatening someone.
We're told police found a BB gun in the area, but no one was arrested because cops could not find a victim. Our sources say it's routine for cops to respond with heavy firepower when they get a call about a person armed with a gun.