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Alleged Slur Brings Call for Caruso to Resign

TIMES STAFF WRITER

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) and several dozen supporters crammed a Los Angeles Police Commission meeting Tuesday, demanding that commission President Rick Caruso resign because he allegedly used a slur in referring to the congresswoman.

Waters and others criticized Caruso during a public comment period that lasted two hours.

Dozens of people who could not fit inside the meeting room at Parker Center lined the hallway outside, listening to the comments over a loudspeaker.

Caruso, who has declined to comment on the matter, did not attend the meeting.

“If it is all right for the Police Commission president to call a congresswoman a bitch, is it all right for police officers on the street to call women bitches?” Waters asked the commission.

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Brotherhood Crusade President Danny Bakewell called the commission president a coward for not attending the meeting and demanded a formal apology from him and the city.

“It outrages all of us who are citizens of the city of Los Angeles,” Bakewell said.

Earlier Tuesday, about 100 people rallied outside the Los Angeles Police Department’s downtown headquarters, where the commission meets weekly, chanting and carrying protest signs with slogans such as “Caruso Must Go.”

The five-member commission is deliberating whether to appoint Police Chief Bernard C. Parks, whose supporters include Waters, to a second five-year term.

Caruso was appointed by Mayor James K. Hahn, who opposes the chief’s reappointment.

Caruso’s alleged comment was distributed in a letter from an anonymous person who claimed to have been at a Feb. 28 meeting attended by Caruso and several top police officials.

“This is wrong,” said Ron Williams, who attended the rally in support of Waters, as he held up a brightly colored protest sign.

“If you’re going to be a leader, you don’t make this kind of mistake.”


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