LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Just one day after protestors took to the streets in downtown Los Angeles, several Southland police departments issued statements condemning the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.
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The Culver City Police Department said in a statement that its staff “shares in the public’s disappointment and outrage regarding the disturbing circumstances surrounding the death of George Floyd.”
“The women and men of the CCPD continually strive to not only provide the highest level of public safety to our community, but to do so in a manner that is compassionate, professional, and is reflective of the diverse community we serve,” the statement says. “Any lack of compassion or abuse of authority doesn’t just tarnish our badge; it tears at the very fabric of law enforcement and community relations.”
Long Beach Police Chief Robert G. Luna also released a statement saying he was “shocked and saddened to learn of the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis earlier this week.”
“The actions of these officers are directly in conflict with the oath we have taken to protect and serve, and also violate the public trust that we have worked so hard to build in our communities,” Luna said.
The fatal Long Beach police shootings of Donte Jordan in November 2013 and Lionel Gibson in May 2016 were mentioned by the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter in a Twitter post shortly before Wednesday’s protest — reminding followers of black men killed by law enforcement in Los Angeles County.
The District Attorney’s Office determined that officers involved in those fatal shootings “acted lawfully.”
Late Thursday evening, the Los Angeles Police Protective League released a statement that said the union agreed with National Association of Police Organizations Executive Director Bill Johnson who said he could not see “any legal justification, any self-defense justification, or any moral justification” for what was shown on the video.
“What we saw on that video was inconsistent and contrary to everything we have been taught, not just as an academy recruit or a police officer, but as human beings,” the statement said. “Reverence for life in every incident a police officer encounters must be the floor and not the ceiling.”
On Wednesday night, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said “the actions I watched in the video were incredibly disturbing and go against the basic law enforcement principle of preservation of life.”READ MORE: Man Climbs Downtown Transmission Tower Prompting Train Closures On West Side Of LA River
“Knowing that we have experienced our own high-profile incidents here in Los Angeles, I can assure you the LAPD strives each day to build trust and these events are sobering reminders of how quickly that can be lost,” he said.
And Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva also spoke out Wednesday night.
“I share in the nation’s outrage over the tragic death of George Floyd,” he said. “Police brutality is unacceptable under any circumstances, and in order to gain the public’s trust, we have to respect the very rule of law, we are sworn to uphold.”
The protesters took to the streets to demand justice for Floyd, who died Monday after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white police officer who was video taped while pressing his knee into the 46-year-old man’s neck for several minutes while three other cops looked on.
Footage of the arrest, in which Floyd is heard saying, “I can’t breathe,” several times spread widely online.
All four officers involved were fired.
The initially peaceful protest, which started at about 4 p.m. outside the Hall of Justice, turned violent a few hours later when hundreds of protesters entered the 101 Freeway, near Alameda Street,
“We hear your anger and your pain. We will always facilitate freedom of speech. Period,” LAPD said in a statement posted on Twitter. “All we ask is that protests are held in a safe and legal manner.”
The protest was organized by Black Lives Matter’s Los Angeles chapter to demand justice for Floyd and to demand that all officers who use excessive force be prosecuted.
Protesters demonstrated into the evening and congregated about 9 p.m. outside the LAPD building, which someone tagged with graffiti that read “1312 ACAB,” a common acronym and its numeric code for “All Cops Are Bastards.”MORE NEWS: Hedman, Kucherov Propel Streaking Lightning Past Kings 6-4
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)