On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Police Commission met via Zoom to receive an update from Chief Michel Moore on the LAPD’s response to the ongoing protests in response to the killing of George Floyd. Public commenters were allowed to share thoughts and ask questions. Their outrage mirrored much of what’s been seen on the streets of Los Angeles over the past few days.
The first hour of the meeting contained a rundown of regular agenda items, and Moore offered a report on significant incidents focusing on police shootings and an update on local crime statistics. Starting in hour two, the calls flooded in.
Callers lambasted Chief Moore for his prepared remarks during Monday’s briefing with Mayor Eric Garcetti, in which he stated that those committing criminal acts in the wake of the protest are also to blame for Floyd’s death. “His death is on their hands as much as it is on those officers,” Moore said, in part.
The chief walked back his claim in a later statement, but many callers demanded Moore’s immediate resignation. They repeatedly accused the commissioners of being smug, indifferent, or bored while listening to resident complaints.
The first caller expressed frustration at the Police Commission’s inability to enact any meaningful reform, including the firing of Moore, which she supported.
“The police commission isn’t an oversight board if you aren’t actively pushing for this,” she said. Craven’s comments set the tone for a deluge of critiques.
Another caller, who identified as black and non-binary, argued that the systemic problem with the LAPD starts with the department’s hiring practices.
“Part of the issue here seems to me… our concept of what our police are, right? You’ve talked about having special training to avoid discrimination, you know, how to deescalate…but to me, it mostly sounds like you’re talking about measures to reel back what the instinct of these officers is, which is to use unnecessary force. Which begs the question, who are the people you are hiring in the first place, and why do they think the job of the cops is to hurt people?” they asked.
A caller who identified herself as a black woman raising a black teenage son broke down as she also called for the firing of Chief Moore.
“Yesterday’s statement was very clear of your gross incompetence. The fact that you used your time to break down statistics of injured officers is appalling. Not to mention you followed up a statement with zero knowledge of the victims of the riots. You, sir, promote violence,” she said.
Some presented their outrage with sarcasm.
“I know you’re all having a rough day, what with everyone here telling you you’re bad at your jobs. Have you considered being good at your jobs?” another caller asked.
Monday’s Zoom meeting was initially limited to 500 participants, which shut out some trying to call in. Although several dozen calls were taken and the Zoom meeting went over eight hours, the commissioners eventually had to cut down comment time from two minutes to only 30 seconds to receive as many comments as possible. The commissioners promised to address technology challenges to increase the number of participants moving forward.