“I’ve gotten several calls from several police officers who want to shut down and not do proactive police work,” Los Angeles Police Protective League president Craig Lally told City News Service.
Lally said the officers are now thinking, “why should I risk my life in a proactive way, basically have to go through all this, and yet the police commission will not back us when someone is obviously trying to take an officer’s gun?”
“They’re very worried about that,” he said.
Lally criticized the commission’s ruling, saying that it was “indisputable” that Ford had “escalated the situation, and he actually caused the shooting.”
While Beck avoided making public comments following the commission’s decision on Tuesday, he sent out a video message to Los Angeles police officers reassuring them that they have the department’s and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s support.
The police commissioners, “our bosses, made a difficult decision” in their ruling on the conduct of two officers in the shooting of Ezell Ford last Aug. 11, he said.
“I know this was a tough decision for them, and I know it’s a difficult thing for you to think about as you go out and risk your lives everyday protecting the city of Los Angeles,” Beck said in the video, which was eventually posted onto YouTube.
“But I want you to think about this — you have my support, you have the mayor’s support, you have the support of the vast majority of the people of Los Angeles,” he said.
While Beck addresses concerns that the commission’s decision could have a chilling effect on how police officers approach their job, Garcetti has been facing pressure from some members of the public who want the two officers involved in the shooting, as well as Beck, to be fired.
Members of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles failed to get a meeting with Garcetti while he spoke at a downtown event today, and also while they camped outside the mayor’s house this past weekend, but said they will continue to seek a meeting with him.
Melina Abdullah, an activist with Black Lives Matter, told City News Service on Tuesday that she does not trust a process that allows Beck — who had determined the officers acted properly — to be the one who metes out discipline against the officers.
“What we want is for Chief Beck to fire Antonio Villegas and Sharlton Wampler,” Abdullah said. “If he refused to do that, we also want Beck gone. We want him fired.”
Garcetti responded to these doubts on Tuesday, saying that “I fully expect the police chief will enact the appropriate discipline based on what the Police Commission has rendered today.”
— City News Service
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