In a Tuesday meeting with commissioners who provide civilian oversight of LAPD, police Chief Michel Moore again apologized for saying people who have looted businesses are responsible for the killing of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man whose death sparked nationwide protest.
“His death is on their hands, as much as it is those officers’,” Moore said of looters during a press conference with Mayor Eric Garcetti Monday.
Later that evening, as his remarks drew criticism, Moore said he misspoke “when I said his blood is on their hands. Certainly, your actions do not serve the enormity of his loss, and cannot be in his memory.”
Then, on Tuesday morning, the Los Angeles Police Commission held its first meeting with Moore since demonstrations sparked by outrage over Floyd’s death erupted across the city.
At the same time as the city has seen massive peaceful demonstrations, smaller groups have destroyed and looted businesses from downtown and central L.A. to the San Fernando Valley.
The LAPD has been making mass arrests, with more than 2,700 people detained at some point during the ongoing protests — more than 90% for failure to disperse or violation of a series of overnight curfew orders that have been imposed since police declared an unlawful assembly in downtown L.A. Friday.
At Tuesday’s virtual Police Commission meeting, which quickly reached the maximum of 500 Zoom participants as the local chapter of Black Lives Matter urged people to call in, the LAPD chief again expressed regret for his comments.
“I understand that there are those that are not able to accept my apology,” Moore said. “I’m hopeful that my words and deeds, as well as those in our department, will show others the genuineness of our intentions, our values and our beliefs.”
People who called into the meeting said they were not satisfied with his “PR statement,” asking for him to resign. They called for police to be held accountable, including for use of force on protesters.
“I know that you have apologized, over and over again for the statement that you made last night,” said one caller, Gina Viola. “But what this tells us and what you’re telling the community by saying things like this is that you are finding a way to blame community members for why police murder.”
Another caller repeated the sentiment.
“Not only are your seemingly emotional statements given today much too late,” Adam Smith said. “They’re a masterclass in erasure and disingenuity. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.”