LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — LAPD Chief Michel Moore called for unity on Friday night, as he joined a group of peaceful protestors outside police headquarters in downtown L.A. to hold a vigil for George Floyd, who died in police custody last week in Minneapolis.
Moore condemned Floyd’s death, as well as other cases of police brutality. He eventually walked over to demonstrators and engaged in conversation about the reform of the LAPD.
“Tonight was an event about all of us sharing the humanity of this loss and this tragedy,” he said to a group of protestors.
Other officers also engaged with protestors for open dialogue.
“It doesn’t change anything, but it kind of opens my eyes to know that there are people…on the other side that are with us,” said one protestor about the LAPD extending an olive branch.
Peaceful protestors have been gathering outside city hall and around DTLA for days, demanding systemic change to fight racial injustice.
Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles filed suit Friday in federal court against the Los Angeles Police Department and Chief Michel Moore, alleging the recent mass detention of more than 2,600 peaceful protesters — held handcuffed on buses without access to bathroom facilities, water or food — was a violation of their rights under the US. and California constitutions.
The suit also alleges LAPD shot a homeless man in a wheelchair in the eye with rubber bullets.
“He was sitting there for a while and it was just shocking,” said the woman who took the photos of the homeless man with blood running down his face. She asked not to be identified.
“I was scared, and I didn’t understand why they were even needing to use them on the protestors, because they already trapped them,” she said.
LAPD said they cannot comment on that specific incident, but they have opened an internal investigation into the use of force of some of the police officers during these protests.