A new report commissioned by L.A. City Council and conducted by a panel of former LAPD commanders has determined that the Los Angeles Police Department acted inappropriately in a variety of ways during protests following the killing of George Floyd last year.
This particular report did not look into individuals’ specific claims that they were mistreated by officers, but rather focused exclusively on what the report terms “institutional issues.” On the institutional level, the Los Angeles Times reports that the experts found the police demonstrated a lack of training and preparation for the event, used outdated crowd control tactics, undertook an “uncoordinated effort” to detain protesters for minor offenses, and experienced “a chaos of command.”
Even in situations where cops on the scene understood their orders, the report says, higher level officers would sometimes insert themselves to give contradicting orders, exacerbating the confusion.
The report specifically calls out the use of “shadow teams” of undercover officers who were sent to infiltrate crowds, but were then left without reliable ways to actually deliver information. Experts found multiple incidents in which police focused their intention on protesters who appeared to be non-violent and unthreatening, while allowing other groups of people nearby to burglarize and vandalize businesses.
“It is unfortunate that the same issues have arisen again and again,” the report states, “with the department being unable or unwilling to rectify the problem.”
This report is one of three official reviews of LAPD actions during the protests. The department itself is working on a report of its own, and the National Police Foundation has been asked by the L.A. Police Commission, a civilian oversight body, to create a third.
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