Many Angry Calls for LAPD Chief’s Ouster At LA Police Commission
Tuesday’s meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission has turned into a forum for the airing of public anger over the LAPD’s handling of the protests following the death of George Floyd, with many calling for the firing or resignation of Police Chief Michel Moore.
More than 500 people signed up to provide public comment to the online meeting. The commissioners and Moore have been sitting silently as one person after another excoriates his department for what they describe as its heavy-handed response to peaceful demonstrations, particularly its liberal use of tear gas and rubber bullets.
Lillian Walker said she had been at a peaceful protest on Saturday at Pan Pacific Park in L.A., and had been talking with some police officers to try to calm things down. She said:
“After that happened ... your police officers continued to shoot at us [with rubber bullets] who were peacefully protesting and trying to use our first amendment right to do so."
"You have shown your true colors," he said. "I am terrified of the LAPD right now.”
Moore defended his department's tactics, saying it was responding to escalating violence, "including assaults on officers, arson" and "widespread looting." He vowed to investigate every complaint of police misconduct.
A number of those calling for the chief’s ouster also pointed to his remarks on Monday about looters, in which he said Floyd’s death “is on [looters’] hands, as much as it is those officers” who killed him.
Moore quickly apologized for his comments, acknowledging in a statement late Monday night that his words “were terribly offensive. Looting is wrong, but it is not the equivalent of murder and I did not mean to equate the two. I deeply regret and humbly apologize for my characterization.”
At a briefing later in the day, Mayor Eric Garcetti said the apology was sufficient. "If I believed for a moment that the chief believed that in his heart, he would no longer be the chief," he said.
Garcetti also said he has directed the LAPD to minimize the use of rubber bullets and batons, and, "if we can, to not use them at all."
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June 3, 8:40 a.m.: This story was updated to include Chief Moore's and Mayor Garcetti's remarks, and to correct the location of Pan Pacific Park.