Charlie Beck early Friday, but said he refused their demands that the two officers who fatally shot a mentally disabled black man be fired or at least removed from the police force.
But, they said, Beck did agree to be more respectful of the protesters who have gathered daily outside police headquarters in downtown L.A.
Shortly after the group met with Beck, the LAPD began removing a steel barricade stretching across the front courtyard of police headquarters, where protesters are camped on the sidewalk.
The protesters said they would remain outside the building, where they have been encamped for days, until the officers who killed the 25-year-old man in South L.A. are fired or removed from duty.
Protest leaders said the fact that protesters had a conversation with Beck was a victory, and they were heartened that he promised they would "be treated more respectfully." The conversation was facilitated by City Council President Herb Wesson who also attended the meeting.
Beck, they said, told them it would be March or April before the investigation into the shooting is complete.
Cmdr. Andrew Smith said Beck's actions were limited by state laws governing the personnel process and that the chief couldn't simply fire officers. He said an investigation takes time, and prosecutors have to review the findings.
"The department will respect the rights of protesters to express themselves in a legal manner," he said.
Early this week, two protesters -- including Abdullah -- were arrested as they tried to deliver demands at the police headquarters. Protesters also this week packed the police commission meeting room, demanding everything from greater transparency to complete civilian control over the department.
At one point during the protest at the commission meeting, an African American man repeatedly shouted a racial slur at Paula Madison, the commission's only black member, and called Beck a coward. Some people in the crowd applauded.
The LAPD has been criticized over Ford's shooting, including delaying releasing the coroner's report until Dec. 29.