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LAPD will limit use of rubber bullets on protesters, Garcetti says

A protestor runs for safety after being shot with a rubber projectile from LAPD officers
A protestor runs for safety after being shot with a rubber projectile from LAPD officers at 3rd St. and Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles Saturday May, 30th.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he has directed the LAPD to “minimize” its use of rubber bullets when dealing with peaceful protesters.

“I think that we’ve seen less of any of those tactics and I hope that we can see the most minimal if not zero of those tactics,” he said.
He mentioned that an officer suffered a fractured skull and that officers needed to make peaceful protesting possible.

“Those tactics will sometimes be out there, but it is my direction to minimize those and if we can to not use those [tactics] at all especially if there’s peaceful protesters.”

Garcetti defended LAPD Chief Michel Moore after Moore made comments equating looters to the cops who were there when George Floyd died in Minneapolis.

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These remarks have sparked calls for the Moore to step down. The Police Commission meeting, which started at 9:30 a.m., was still going on when the mayor’s presser started, and Moore was still there, listening to hundreds of speakers call for his resignation.

Garcetti said he was glad that Moore quickly corrected his remarks, which were made Monday, and stated emphatically that he believed it was wrong to compare looting to the killing of an unarmed man.

Five decades of evidence show that rubber bullets can maim, blind and even kill people, but they still are being used widely by police to quell protests and unrest.

“I’m glad he quickly corrected it, and I’m glad that he further apologized, as well,” Garcetti said. 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.”

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The mayor, who earlier in the day had taken a knee with protesters outside City Hall, also gave the microphone over to a 16-year-old African American man that day.

Davion Pilgrin described some of the challenges of living in South Los Angeles and being racially profiled and stopped by police. He said he doesn’t want to see what happened to Floyd happen to any of his seven siblings.

“While I think we should keep protesting and demanding change, there is no need to loot and tear things down,” he said — later adding that he hoped to be a lawyer some day and that his own kids could go to college.

The mayor took the extreme step of asking for the National Guard to be brought to Los Angeles, evoking bloody memories of 1992 for many in this city. He said that as of this evening about 1,000 Guardsmen were on the streets but noted that there would be no patrols in South Los Angeles.

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The protests Tuesday heartened him, he said, and he was glad to see they had mostly gone off without any violence. That came as other cities saw major confrontations between law enforcement and protesters.

Garcetti reserved some of his strongest criticism for President Trump. He didn’t mention him by name but said there needed to be more national leadership “to bring this moment to a calmer place.”

“The political pyromania of this moment that we see coming out of Washington right now,” he said. “It’s not only not bringing us together, it is fanning the fuel of this fire.”


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