L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell’s Statement:
“From my first day as Sheriff, I have sought to set a clear tone underscoring that the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is accountable to those we protect and serve and that we must hold ourselves to the highest standards of integrity and constitutional policing. We must continuously earn the trust of our community. This starting point, and my abiding commitment to partnering with our County’s rich and diverse community, has been a guidepost for me throughout my decades in law enforcement.
“There are, however, unfortunate moments when dialogue and debate can dissolve into dissention or misunderstanding. The well-being of our entire community will depend on how we respond to these moments that can test the resolve of all of us – it is exactly in these challenging times that we must strengthen lines of communication, fortifying trust with our words as well as our actions. What we say must be what we do. And simply put, what we do is who we are.
“I am a longtime advocate for developing and maintaining community trust and was one of the strong proponents of community based policing in Los Angeles. As Sheriff, restoring and building trust is one of my highest priorities. I have seen first-hand the role First AME Church has played for decades as a highly respected and effective community partner. Indeed, I worked closely with the esteemed Reverend Cecil Murray who led First AME for 27 years through some of the most tumultuous and historic decades in his congregation’s history, including the Los Angeles riots. Most recently we served together on the Citizen’s Commission on Jail Violence. I look forward to continuing in this spirit of partnership and respectful cooperation with Pastor Boyd.
“I welcome the opportunity to work together with all responsible participants in our community as we seek to engage in a vitally important conversation about our joint commitment to constitutional and community based policing and its core values, as well as the challenges facing those who commit themselves to a profession devoted to keeping our community safe. I have long believed that law enforcement can best protect our community when we work in partnership with the people we serve.
“In the coming weeks, I intend to work with law enforcement leadership to bring together faith-based leaders from throughout our County in a responsible and heart-felt dialogue that both respects the never-ending challenges of law enforcement and the public safety and trust of the people we serve. I strongly subscribe to the view that law enforcement must be accountable to those we serve and continue to partner with our community in performing the ever-challenging job of law enforcement; that is how policing best maintains the safety and well-being of our entire community.”