LAPD chief to meet with #BlackLivesMatter protesters

LAPD Chief Beck to meet with local #BlackLivesMatter protesters over police shootings

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said on Thursday that he will meet with #BlackLivesMatter protesters as demonstrators continue to gather outside the department’s headquarters over the issue of fatal police shootings.

The meeting is slated to take place Friday morning, Cmdr. Andrew Smith said.

"It is a meeting to discuss their demands," he said. "The chief meets with a lot of people and already met with several groups on these issues in South L.A."

Protesters this week packed the police commission meeting room, demanding everything from greater transparency to complete civilian control over the LAPD. Among the movement’s demands is that Beck terminate the two officers who fatally shot Ezell Ford last August. Ford, a mentally ill man, was shot three times by two officers after he was stopped on a South L.A. street.

LAPD officials have said that the 25-year-old Ford was shot after he reached for an officer’s gun during a struggle. 

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 LAPD Chief Charlie Beck a coward. Some people in the crowd applauded.

Smith said the chief will listen to the protesters, but that he had to adhere to procedures and the law.  

"He cannot just fire these officers," Smith said.

Scores of protesters have camped outside the LAPD’s headquarters in downtown L.A. all week.

Their demands echoed those that have been made during numerous LAPD-related demonstrations in recent weeks, part of nationwide demonstrations over several high-profile officer-involved killings, including that of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York. In L.A., the August deaths of Ford and Omar Abrego in South Los Angeles have fueled the demonstrations.

Tuesday's commission meeting was the first since the Dec. 29 release of Ford's autopsy. The LAPD has been criticized over his Aug. 11 fatal shooting, including over a four-month delay in releasing the coroner's report.

Abrego died Aug. 3, about 12 hours after a physical altercation with two LAPD sergeants. His autopsy results have not yet been made public.

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