The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion on June 30 by Councilmen David Ryu, 4th District, and Curren Price, 9th District, instructing the Los Angeles Police Department, the LAPD Inspector General and the Department of Civil and Human Rights to conduct a thorough review of the tactics used by LAPD personnel during a demonstration on Saturday, May 30 in the Fairfax District.
The motion also seeks recommendations for new crowd control and use-of-force tactics, as well as a review of less-than-lethal weapons like rubber bullets and tear gas and their modern-day equivalents, foam rounds and pepper balls.
“On May 30, Angelenos who were exercising their first amendment rights were met with force from the LAPD,” Ryu said. “We also saw looting with seemingly no police response. I want to know why. We need a thorough review of the tactics the LAPD used, the reasoning behind it and an investigation of all complaints filed against the department for use of force.”
The protest on May 30 began with a peaceful demonstration in Pan Pacific Park. As the demonstrators marched toward the intersection of Third Street and Fairfax Avenue, clashes between police and protestors occurred. Incidents of arson, looting and vandalism occured at businesses in the area.
Photographs and videos surfaced in the days after the showing police officers striking protestors with batons, as well as looting and vandalism met with little or no police response.
“We look forward to a comprehensive look into how decisions were made by law enforcement during what was supposed to be a peaceful protest on May 30, what triggered the escalation into what became a nightmare situation for both the police and protestors and how we plan to move forward as we seek new crowd control strategies and tactical solutions to better serve the city,” Price said. “The people of Los Angeles deserve complete transparency, accountability and respect when it comes to what occurs in our city and how they are to be treated while exercising a constitutional right to demonstrate, which should never lead to Angelenos having their rights violated.”
The City Council also instructed the departments to investigate claims that the LAPD focused on protest gatherings instead of smaller groups committing acts of arson, looting and vandalism. The events on May 30 led to citywide curfews through June 3.
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