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Criminal Justice

‘Training, Training, Training’ — Police Commission Takes Up Reports On LAPD Handling Of 2020 Protests

More than 10,000 people packed the streets on June 7, 2020 in Hollywood to protest police brutality and systemic racism.
A June 7, 2020 protest in Hollywood.
(Robert Garrova
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The L.A. Police Commission spent more than three hours today taking up a trio of reports on the LAPD’s handling of last summer’s protests.

The reports — one from the LAPD, one from the National Police Foundation requested by the Police Commission and an independent study ordered by the L.A. City Council -- offer around 100 recommendations altogether.

Commission Vice President William Briggs said there was one theme he found consistent in all three reports:

“Training, training, training, in various issues, from the command staff down to the officers on the street.”
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The study headed up by former police commissioner Gerald Chaleff, for instance, calls for increased training around use of 40mm less lethal foam munitions. That report recommends that only officers with “consistent and periodic” certification with less-than-lethal weapons be allowed to use them in crowd control situations.

“Firing these weapons if you’re not well trained ... will sometimes result in causing great injury to people,” said Chaleff.

Chaleff’s report found a two-hour training from four years ago on the use of the 40mm less lethal weapon “consisted of learning how to manipulate the weapon and firing the weapon only a few times at a stationary target.”

All three reports also criticized what they found to be poor planning and leadership.

The LAPD is facing a range of lawsuits stemming from last summer’s protests alleging excessive force and unlawful detentions.

The department’s internal affairs investigators are ruling on the side of officers in most cases they have looked into so far, according to a separate report Chief Michel Moore submitted to the commission.

The police commission on Tuesday ordered the LAPD to report back on consolidating the reports’ recommendations. It also requested a “comprehensive presentation on training” from the LAPD.