LAPD mishandled George Floyd protests, says report

LAPD mishandled George Floyd protests, says report
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A report commissioned by the Los Angeles City Council has that found the city’s police department did not adequately plan for or respond to last summer’s racial justice protests following the police killing of George Floyd.

The 101-page report released Thursday said the Los Angeles Police Department could have more effectively handled responses to the “small groups that were primarily responsible for the violence and criminal activity” throughout protests in the city.

The report added that the “lack of adequate planning and preparation caused the Department to be reactive, rather than proactive, and inhibited the Department’s ability to have better control over the violence being committed by small groups of individuals whose objectives were to create chaos and confrontation with the police.” 

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The report came on the third day of jury selection in the trial against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who faces multiple charges in connection with Floyd’s May death. 

Video of Chauvin placing his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes quickly went viral on social media and prompted a wave of protests across the country calling for an end to police brutality.

As some of the demonstrations turned violent, police departments responded to the protests with varying degrees of force, prompting scrutiny from public officials and watchdog groups. 

Thursday’s report on the LAPD found that not only were officers unprepared to respond to the violence, but commanding officers also did not effectively communicate policies and shifting strategies to officers. 

Additionally, the report said that police were not able to effectively isolate and arrest the more violent demonstrators from those protesting peacefully “due in part to the use of antiquated tactics and lack of training on public order policing.”

The probe also found that due to the breakdown in communication, undercover officers were unable to directly communicate reports on criminal activity to their supervisors, adding that some undercover officers were threatened and “had to be removed from the violence.” 

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In some instances, the report found that police wrongly arrested some protesters, and “less lethal munitions and tools” used against demonstrators, including batons and bean bag shotguns, caused “significant injuries, some of which required surgery.” 

The study, completed by a panel of former police commanders and led by veteran Los Angeles attorney Gerald Chaleff, is one of three that has been investigating the LAPD in connection with the summer’s protests, according to The New York Times

The Hill has reached out to the LAPD for comment on Thursday’s report. 

The law enforcement probe follows a similar one released in December by the New York City Department of Investigation, which found that the NYPD used excessive force during protests in the aftermath of Floyd’s death. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) cited this report when she filed a lawsuit in January against the NYPD, calling for the police department to be given a court-appointed monitor to “eliminate ongoing unlawful policing practices and their effects.”