LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that local Black Lives Matter activists have not been interested in having a productive discussion with him on policing issues as they staged a sit-in outside City Hall for an eighth day.
The activists have been calling for Beck’s resignation, claiming he has done too little to protect residents of color and has allowed questionable killings by police officers to go unpunished.
The protesters repeated their calls Tuesday as Beck met with the police commission and told the panel what he got out of meeting with President Barack Obama about the recent cop killings.
“People can listen to other folks’ ideas and take away something from it. I wish Los Angeles would learn that lesson,” the chief lamented.
That was when the jeering and taunting began, and four people were removed from the meeting.
For nearly two hours, speaker after speaker was highly critical of Beck. Members of BLM kept chanting “Fire Chief Beck!”
When CBS2/KCAL9’s Dave Lopez asked Beck if he sees an end to BLM’s protest against him, he said “certainly, it’ll end in three years (he chuckled) because my term will be over in three years.”
Beck said he is willing to have a dialogue with BLM only “if they want to listen instead of just make demands and pontificate, then I’ll be glad to do it.”
Melina Abdullah, one of the leaders of the local Black Lives Matter group, accused Beck of dismissing the Los Angeles chapter’s activities by holding up the national Black Live Matter as a superior organization.
“I was in the back, texting Patrice Cullors, a founder of Black Lives Matter, who you tried to throw in our faces … as if Black Lives Matter national is somehow separate from Black Lives Matter Los Angeles. I hope your investigatory work is better than this as a police officer, because if you investigated anything, you would know that Black Lives Matter began right here in Los Angeles. Black Lives Matter Los Angeles is Black Lives Matter. We are the first chapter.”
Some Black Lives Matter members and their supporters began staging a sit-in at City Hall last week after the Police Commission ruled that the shooting of 30-year-old Redel Jones by an L.A. police officer was within department policy.
Jones, who was black, allegedly lunged at officers with a knife as police hunted for a suspect who robbed a pharmacy in South Los Angeles.
Protesters have pointed to a differing account by a witness who said police shot Jones while she was running away.