LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Members of Blacks Lives Matter shut down Los Angeles City Hall Tuesday and vowed to occupy the building until the city takes drastic steps.
An all-day protest turned into an all-night movement to occupy city hall. Issues of law and order and race once again boiled over in Southern California.
Cal State L.A. professor Melina Abdullah is an organizer for Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles. She called on Mayor Eric Garcetti to remove the police chief and police commission president. “Until he fires Beck, he’s going to be occupied,” Abdullah said.
The protest started earlier Tuesday outside LAPD headquarters, where the police commission met to review a deadly officer-involved shooting of a black woman last summer.
The panel ruled the officers acted within department policy when they shot and killed 30-year-old Redel Jones. The mother-of-two was a suspect in a robbery who police said approached with a knife, when a taser failed, they fired.
“I knew Redel. That’s not the type of person she was,” said Jones’ husband, Marcus Vaughn.
“Unfortunately, the folks who come to the commission are not interested in having a discussion with me,” police Chief Charlie Beck said. “They want to yell at me.”
This all came as the Sacramento Bee Tuesday released new numbers analyzing police shootings in California in the past decade.
Using Department of Justice statistics, researchers found police shot and killed blacks at almost five times the rate of whites and three times the rate of Latinos.
The numbers also showed blacks were more likely to come into contact with law enforcement for alleged crimes.
“We know at every single level from the moment of stop, from the charges that are filed, from in death custodies, black people are experiencing a level of violent policing that no other group is experiencing.
Tensions between police and the black community have been running high following two fatal shootings by police in the past week — of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.
The tensions escalated into last week’s sniper shootings during a protest in Dallas, killing five police officers.