Tuesday, September 27, 2022

LA Mayor Garcetti Finally Agrees to Meet with Black Lives Matter Activists (Dramatic Video)

*Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti  offered Tuesday to meet with members of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, a group that has been calling for the firing of police Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and two officers who fatally shot an unarmed black man last summer, a mayoral spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

The mayor hopes to meet with the group’s members soon, Garcetti
spokesman Jeff Millman said. The group’s members had been trying to secure a meeting with Garcetti ever since the Los Angeles Police Commission determined June 9 that one of the officers involved in the shooting of 25-year-old Ezell Ford last summer acted improperly, siding against Beck’s assessment that the officer acted correctly.

Black Lives Matter activists earlier this month camped for several days outside Garcetti’s home and attended many of his public appearances, but were unable to obtain a meeting with him. One of those encounters led to a scuffle between activists and police officers, with two members of Black Lives Matter getting arrested.

Garcetti’s offer to meet with members of the group today comes after city attorneys Friday tried unsuccessfully to obtain court orders to prevent the two arrested Black Lives Matter protesters — Evan Bunch and Luz Flores — from coming near Garcetti and Beck.
A second attempt Tuesday to request a stay away order by the City Attorney’s Office — this time to keep Bunch away from Beck — also failed.

Black Lives Matter Los Angeles released a statement saying that while they feel they should not have been forced to chase after the mayor, they “are relieved that (Garcetti) has finally decided to meet with us to discuss police brutality, the killing of Ezell Ford and Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck.”

“While Black Lives Matter Los Angeles feels that they should not have had to engage in the type of civic engagement that involved following Mayor Garcetti to various public events including camping out around the clock for 48 hours in front of his home just to get his attention, we are relieved that he has finally decided to meet with us to discuss police brutality, the killing of Ezell Ford and Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. 

It is unfortunate that before we could get to this point, several members of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles were arrested just for trying to seek a meeting with their Mayor.  It is even more disheartening that the the Mayor choose to use City Attorney Mike Feuer to try and obtain protective orders against members of our group who were merely participating in civic engagement—the very thing the Mayor encouraged Angelenos to do during his campaign for office.

But in the spirit of moving forward, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles will overlook the Mayor sneaking out of the back door of his house and being less than truthful with his reasons for leaving town on the eve of the Board of Police Commissioners Ezell Ford policy ruling in an effort to come to the table to have a real discussion about solutions to police brutality in Los Angeles. 

We look forward to this first conversation with the Mayor. We are optimistic that this is the opening of the front door for the Mayor to engage in greater and more meaningful dialogue with Black Los Angeles on issues relevant to our community.”

Garcetti had assured the public earlier this month that Beck would “enact the appropriate discipline based on what the Police Commission” decided in the fatal police shooting of Ford, but Black Lives Matter activists expressed doubts at the time.

Melina Abdullah, an activist with Black Lives Matter, told City News Service after the commission decision 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.”

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