Los Angeles residents flooded a public Zoom meeting with anger and frustration on Tuesday over the city’s response to ongoing protests following the death of George Floyd.
Hundreds of citizens called in to the Los Angeles Police Commission’s first virtual meeting since the demonstrations began. For more than eight hours, dozens of residents repeatedly called on Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore to resign after he made comments on Monday blaming looters for “capitalizing” on the man’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer last week.
“I’m going to say that Chief Moore should be fired and the police commission isn’t an oversight board if you aren’t actively pushing for this,” one resident said in a clip compiled by The Los Angeles Times. “Blaming protesters for George Floyd’s death it’s bad, it’s horrible.”
Another continues: “Chief, you need to step down. You need to resign or this commission needs to do its job and fire you.”
Moore has publicly apologized for the remarks and said Monday he misspoke out of frustration over a rash of looting that broke out across the city in recent days.
“Yesterday during the course of a press conference I made a terrible mistake and misspoke regarding the death of Mr. George Floyd,” Moore said at the start of the Zoom meeting. “Looting is in no way comparable to his murder. My remarks were meant to convey my frustration with those who, as they committed violence, attempted to justify their actions. I apologize and I am sorry.”
City officials have faced a barrage of criticism over their handling of the largely peaceful protests. Thousands of residents gathered outside the home of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday, who has imposed a countywide curfew while appealing to protesters to remain peaceful. More than 3,000 people have been arrested in the city since Friday.
“I need to protect all Angelenos. I need to protect protesters. I need to protect police officers,” Garcetti said. “My hope in my heart is that as soon as we don’t need that curfew we can get rid of it.”
Garcetti also defended Moore on Tuesday and said he was glad the chief apologized.
“I’m glad he quickly corrected it, and I’m glad that he further apologized, as well,” Garcetti said, per the LA Times. “I want to be very, very clear about that. If I believed for a moment that the chief believed that in his heart, he would no longer be our chief of police. I can’t say that any stronger.”