A group of protesters calling for the ouster of police Chief Charlie Beck and demanding a meeting with Mayor Eric Garcetti again gathered in front of City Hall today, continuing a sit-in that began after the Police Commission determined an officer’s fatal shooting of a 30-year-old black woman was within department policy.
Tuesday’s decision sparked shouts of protest from the commission audience, which was packed with activists and some Black Lives Matter members calling for the officer to be disciplined or fired for the Aug. 12, 2015, shooting in the aftermath of a pharmacy robbery in the Crenshaw district.
The commission, after meeting in closed session for more than an hour, announced that it found fault with some of the tactics used by officers surrounding the shooting of Redel Jones, but found that Officer Brett Ramirez’s shooting of the woman did not violate Los Angeles Police Department policy.
Jones was shot in the 4100 block of Marlton Avenue after police responded to a call of a pharmacy robbery in the 3700 block of Santa Rosalia Drive. According to an internal report obtained by the Los Angeles Times, money and a robbery demand note were found in Jones’ clothing.
Following the Police Commission’s ruling, some protesters left the Police Administration Building and gathered a block away on the east steps of City Hall in an impromptu sit-in. The sit-in continued into late afternoon, and a small group of people remained camped there overnight.
As the protesters called for a meeting with Garcetti, he was in Washington, D.C., with Beck, attending a White House meeting on police- community relations.
Beck told reporters earlier he believes the city has made progress in improving relationships.
“I think that we have successes to share in Los Angeles,” Beck said.
“We have been through a tremendous amount as a city, a city torn apart not that many decades ago by racial unrest and mistrust of the police. I think we’ve made a lot of progress on that regardless of what you see from a handful of people.”
Additional events were held tonight.
At 6 p.m., the Institute for Nonviolence in Los Angeles hosted a “Days of Dialogue” event in Exposition Park aimed at discussing the “future of policing.” The event was aimed at fostering one-on-one discussions between residents and police officers in an effort at sharing viewpoints and building relationships.
The organization is planning a series of similar events in the coming weeks, at locations across the city.
And at 7 p.m., the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism coalition held a rally to demand justice for the fatal shootings by police officers of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota.
As of late evening, no arrests had been reported in association with the City Hall sit-in or the Pershing Square rally, according to the LAPD.
—City News Service