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Los Angeles political leaders were quick to speak out after police descended on Echo Park Lake on Wednesday to help shut down a park that has been home to many homeless people: Some council members criticized activists for challenging police officers, while others questioned the police response.

One noticeably absent voice was that of Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has largely stayed in the background amid the debate over the future of the park and its homeless occupants. Instead, Garcetti appears to have deferred to the local councilman, Mitch O’Farrell.

Garcetti wasn’t available for an interview Thursday, spokesman Alex Comisar said. He took part in an online panel about community-based public safety and participated in a Metropolitan Transportation Authority meeting.

Comisar said Garcetti and the mayor’s office staff have been “instrumentally involved” in the process of shutting the park and getting 177 people into housing.

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