LAPD chief backtracks after saying he has ‘full support’ of Mayor Karen Bass
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore apologized Tuesday after sending an email that described his bid for a second term and suggested he has the backing of Mayor Karen Bass.
Moore sent the email on Dec. 27, informing the board of the nonprofit Los Angeles Police Foundation that he had applied for another five-year term — and had “much work” left to do. “I’ve discussed this with Mayor Bass and enjoy her full support,” he wrote.
After The Times inquired about Moore’s email, an aide to Bass said she has not made a decision on the chief’s future.
“She will let the police chief, the police commission and the public know when she has made a decision,” Bass spokesperson Zach Seidl said on Tuesday. “Until then, anything that anyone says regarding a decision is speculation.”
About an hour later, Moore sent his own message clarifying his statements, noting that the Board of Police Commissioners, a five-member civilian panel, is charged with deciding whether he receives another term.
“I apologize for any confusion I have caused,” he said. “I look forward to continuing detailed discussions with the mayor on her vision for a safer Los Angeles as well as specific strategies and measures of effectiveness as I pursue my reappointment.”
Mayor Karen Bass feels that a Jan. 10 police commission vote on whether to retain LAPD Chief Michel Moore for a second five-year term is ‘too soon,’ her spokesperson said.
Bass has kept mostly quiet in recent days on whether she wants Moore to receive another term, saying a formal meeting would soon be scheduled between the two.
Moore sent his email to the foundation, which raises money for the LAPD, on the day the Board of Police Commissioners announced that Moore had requested another term.
The City Charter gives the five-member commission the authority to reappoint a police chief. The commission, whose members are selected by the mayor, is currently made up of appointees of former Mayor Eric Garcetti, who left office last month.
Bass has been focused heavily on the city’s homelessness crisis and has not yet announced her own slate of police commissioners. Last week, she secured a delay in the commission’s planned vote on Moore’s reappointment, pushing it from Jan. 10 to a future date.
The commission is still set to discuss Moore’s request for a second term on Jan. 10 and so far, two of its members have announced support for his reappointment. Only three votes are required for the commission to reappoint Moore.
One expert on the City Charter said he would be “very surprised” if the commission reappointed a chief who did not have the newly elected mayor’s support.
“I think there’s a general feeling that the relationship between the mayor and the police chief has to be one that works,” said Raphael J. Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State L.A.
Moore’s bid for another term comes at a time of major change at City Hall, with a new mayor and five new City Council members taking office. The council would need 10 votes to veto a decision by the commission reappointing Moore.
Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez did not say whether she thinks Moore deserves another term when contacted by The Times. In a statement, she said the commission must conduct an “open, comprehensive and accessible” review of the chief so that “residents have a say in the future of their city.”
“Our public safety system hasn’t just drained our tax dollars and harmed our communities — it has led to a revolving door of people and policies that fail to keep us safe,” said Hernandez, who took office last month.
In a letter to the Police Commission, the city’s top cop said he has a “strong desire to continue leading this Department as it strives to reduce the incidence of violent crime, while working in partnership with the community and City family.”
Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez, another new arrival at City Hall, also declined to say whether Moore should be reappointed, calling instead for a “thorough and transparent” evaluation.
“We need a chief of police who will ... work with council to redirect traffic stops and nonviolent calls to unarmed professionals who can connect people to the mental health, addiction or housing services they need,” he said.
Councilmember Curren Price, who represents part of South Los Angeles, plans to meet with Moore to discuss his reappointment request, according to Price’s spokesperson, Angelina Valencia-Dumarot.
In 2021, the LAPD botched the detonation of illegal fireworks in Price’s South Los Angeles district, causing an explosion that resulted in widepread damage, displacing residents and injuring 17 people.
“We’re not ready to say yes or no,” on Moore’s request, Valencia-Dumarot said. “Deeper discussions need to be had.”
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