Los Angeles

Attorney General Lynch Visits Los Angeles as Part of Policing Tour

The countrywide tour has focused on law enforcement agencies' use of technology to promote community relations

She is the top attorney in the country, and on Wednesday she complimented a police department the office she inherited once cracked down on.

"This kind of proactive and inclusive approach particularly arising out of a history of tensions is one we're encouraging at police departments around the country," said Loretta Lynch, as she made her final stop on her national "Community Policing" tour.

What came of the Justice Department's oversight of the Los Angeles Police Department in years past has led to a department that is leading the nation in community policing, she said.

"We are facing this challenge in a way that I hope will not only generate safer communities but people who feel connected to each other as well as to law enforcement," she said.

Lynch took part in a virtual ride-along with officers and learned how the department is using social media to combat crime and keep communities safe.

But outside the Emergency Operations Center, a group of protesters said the Attorney General is missing an opportunity to scold the department for what they say are continued complaints of racism.

"They continue to lead the nation in murders of people of color," said Mariella Saba, a protester. "So to award them is to award the most murderous police department."

The AG took a question from NBC4 about the concerns but stopped short of calling for any changes.

"Look, they raise issues, they raise issues that are a concern to all of us," she said. "If we're gonna look at all the problems and issues law enforcement faces, they are an important voice and they have very important things to say."

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the fact the AG wanted to see first-hand what his department is doing, is a testament to what's already changed.

"This is a police department that has learned many hard lessons and if some of our hard lessons and things we've learned about building community trust and can help other cities, then we have achieved our mission," he said.

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