On Tuesday Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore apologized for saying that George Floyd’s death was on looters’ hands. But for many residents, walking back his words is simply not good enough. They want Moore to resign immediately, and they made that explicitly clear during a Zoom call where Angelenos were given the opportunity to voice their concerns.
During a press conference on Monday Moore said, “We didn’t have protests last night. We had criminal acts… We didn’t have people mourning the death of this man, George Floyd. We had people capitalizing. His death is on their hands, as much as it is those officers.”
In a clip of the Zoom call posted to YouTube by the Los Angeles Times, a young lady who identified herself as a 16-year-old Black woman asks, “Do you know the trauma behind watching countless Black men and women be killed by racist police officers? And you’re seriously going to sit here and say that it is our fault that an innocent Black man was suffocated to death? You should all be ashamed of yourselves. I’m 16-years-old and I know more than all of you.”
Her sentiments rang true for a number of callers who in succession asked Moore to vacate his position and looked to the commission to reinforce their stand. One caller pointed out that Moore’s comments suggested that his priorities are to protect the police force and not the people of Los Angeles. Another called his remarks “asinine and ignorant,” noting that his words are the reason much of the community has distrust in the police.
While many of those who offered remarks exhibited a level of disappointment in the police chief’s actions, one caller, in particular, was so vocal about his disgust, his comments went viral. “Black Lives Matter. Defund the police,” a man identified as Jeremy Frisch starts out. “I find it disgusting that the LAPD is slaughtering peaceful protesters on the street.”
Frisch goes on to say, “I had two friends go to the protest in Beverly Hills a couple days ago and the protest was peaceful until the police showed up with their excessive violent force, shooting rubber bullets and throwing tear gas. Is this what you think of protecting and serving? Cause I think it’s bull—t.”
Frisch’s account is similar to that of Los Angeles based photographer Bellamy Brewster who told ESSENCE this week that an officer beat him with a baton while he was attempting to document the protests. The justification of the police misconduct on Moore’s part led Frisch to add, “F— you Michel Moore. I refuse to call you an officer or a chief because you don’t deserve those titles. You are a disgrace…[expletive, expletive] I yield my time.”
No word yet on if Moore will resign or if the commission will “do its job” as callers suggest and ask him to vacate his position. There have also been calls to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti demanding that he fire Moore for his remarks.