SOUTH LA (CBSLA.com) — Local authorities and community leaders alike are reaching out to the public, urging restraint in the face of recent violence and civil unrest in Baltimore.
LAPD officers patrolled the area surrounding the USC campus on Tuesday, as the department remains on a “blue alert”, following riots sparked by protests against the death of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody.READ MORE: FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Emergency Use Authorization For Johnson & Johnson Booster
A small police protest appeared near LA Live on Figueroa Blvd. on Tuesday, shortly before 6 p.m. Officers were quick to encircle the protest, which had brought traffic on the busy road to a halt. The protestors had been ordered to disperse.
USC’s Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement Executive Director, Reverend Mark Whitlock, spoke with the pastor who delivered the eulogy at Gray’s funeral, looking to come to a consensus on how to rebuild after the riots in Baltimore on Monday.READ MORE: Some Parent Groups Proposing Monday 'Sit-Outs' At Schools To Protest Against Vaccine Mandates
“Right now, we’re asking for calm heads, because if we burn a building down, it takes years, if not fifty to a hundred years, to rebuild,” Rev. Whitlock said.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that the department’s status of a blue alert was misinterpreted. When the blue-alert related to the Baltimore unrest was issued, it merely extended what was already in place, according to Beck.
“Earlier this weekend, we became aware of communications from ISIL that called for the targeting of law enforcement or members of the armed forces,” Chief Beck said. “Because of that, we put people into two-person configurations in the cars. We are primarily a two-person unit police department.”
Former Long Beach City Councilman Steve Neal says that he supports the police, but does not back misuse of force, and has been working to open dialogue between law enforcement and clergy members.MORE NEWS: Section Of MacArthur Park To Close To Begin Repairs, Maintenance Work
“We have to make sure that when injustice is inflicted on the community that it’s dealt with, and it’s dealt with responsibly,” Neal said. “And I think that’s the challenge that we see. The broader community does not believe that it’s dealt with responsibly.”