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Criminal Justice

Police Commission Hears Public Comment On Reappointment of LAPD Chief Moore

A middle-aged white man with close cropped graying hair wears a blue suit with a pin on the lapel
LAPD Chief Michel Moore stands for a portrait at KPCC in Pasadena, California on August 15, 2018.
(Signe Larsen
/
LAist)
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The Los Angeles Police Commission Tuesday heard public testimony on whether to reappoint Chief Michel Moore to another five-year term, with almost everyone who spoke voicing opposition.

Several expressed anger over the LAPD’s handling of public protests over the George Floyd murder in 2020 and the 2021 demonstrations against the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion. One independent report said the department unlawfully detained thousands of people in 2020 and used excessive force on peaceful demonstrators.

“It’s further proof that he is someone of anti-democratic and anti-humanitarian tendencies,” said Michael Novick, accusing Moore of using the LAPD “to prevent the exercise of free speech and protest in this city.”

Others faulted Moore for taking a knee with protestors during the George Floyd demonstrations. “I do think of him as chief bended knee,” said Steve Rogers, who said the move hurt morale among officers.

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“I don’t see you defending the LAPD in public, which needs to be done,” he said to Moore during the virtual meeting.

People cited various other reasons Moore should not be reappointed: the 2021 LAPD bomb squad detonation of illegal fireworks in South L.A. that left 17 people injured; the number of mentally ill and unarmed people killed by officers; and the disproportionate number of Black drivers stopped in South L.A. on pretextual grounds — a practice Moore sought to curtail after an investigation by the L.A. Times.

“The city of L.A. should not waste more time with Chief Moore,” said Paula Minor, an activist with Black Lives Matter. The LAPD needs “a new face,” she said.

One theme that surfaced throughout the comments: that Moore’s LAPD relies too heavily on the use of force to respond to problems. “We need trained, unarmed, non-law enforcement responses to community calls,” said one person who did not identify themselves in the Zoom meeting.

An overwhelming majority of the 18 people who spoke opposed the reappointment of Moore. But not all.

“I don’t really believe that any police chief can be successful in this political environment,” said a woman who identified herself as Dora. She accused “woke” political leaders of getting in the way of Moore doing a good job.

Moore did not speak. None of the commissioners expressed an opinion during the meeting. Two — William Briggs and Steve Soboroff — already have said they support the chief’s reappointment.

Moore told the L.A. Times that if reappointed he would only serve two to three years, so that there would be enough time to install new leadership before the 2028 Olympics.

A statement from the office of Mayor Karen Bass Monday said she has yet to decide whether Moore should be granted another term. The two “have had several conversations regarding her vision of public safety and the future of the LA Police Department and the two will continue to discuss these important issues,” the statement said.

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Her opinion matters. Commissioners serve at the mayor’s pleasure.

You can comment on Moore’s reappointment by emailing the commission at policecommission@lapd.online. The commission is accepting public comment through Jan 24.

The panel has until the end of March to decide Moore’s fate. It has not said when it will take a vote.

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