The Los Angeles County’s Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission on Thursday met for the first time since protests began in the county, with officials discussing the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“Personally I’m tired of black people having to die in order for this country to care about our lives. I’m tired of people caring more about property than the lives of black people,” Commissioner Priscilla Ocen said. “I’m tired of the culture of impunity that pervades the Sheriff’s Department, but also all levels of government that protects law enforcement that hurts the communities that they’re supposed to serve.”
Floyd’s death led to massive protests around the county have resulted in curfews that gave deputies power to arrest those lingering in the streets after they went into effect.
The commissioners discussed their official statement on George Floyd’s death and took comments from members of the public, many of whom denounced and called for the repeal of a countywide curfew enacted in the wake of the protests, and also criticized how deputies have responded to the protests and those flouting curfew.
One also brought up a video circulating online that appears to show deputies shooting protesters in the back with pepper balls as they run away in a Hollywood neighborhood.
“We really need to get to the bottom of this,” the caller said.
Many residents also urged reform in jails, demanded greater accountability for deputy shootings of people of color and called for the resignation of L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
The sheriff’s meeting followed that of the L.A. Police Commission Tuesday, which saw residents call on Police Chief Michel Moore to resign as they expressed their anger over longstanding issues of police brutality and the department’s response to the protests.