The Los Angeles Police Commission announced Friday that the National Police Foundation will assess the LAPD's response to a series of large demonstrations that were held in the city following the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked protests nationwide.
The NPF will hold two virtual listening sessions at noon and 5 p.m. next Thursday to get input from members of the public, business owners and community leaders on interactions they had with officers during demonstrations held between May 27 and June 7.
According to the NPF, the input will be used to “identify successes and challenges,” and assist it in developing strategies for the LAPD to consider adopting for responding to demonstrations in the future, enhancing police-community relations and identifying how the LAPD and community can move forward.
The NPF bills itself as an independent, nonpartisan research foundation that conducts research into police behavior, policy and procedure.
According to its website, its mission “is to advance policing through innovation and science.”
The first NPF session can be joined by calling 312-626-6779, meeting ID 923-6097-7810; and the second by calling 312-626-6779, meeting ID 990-8337-3720.
More information is available by visiting policefoundation.org/lapdreview, by emailing PFinfo@policefoundation.org, or by calling 202-721-9779.
In the wake of the protests, Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles lost a bid to get a federal judge to order an immediate halt to the LAPD's use of projectiles, including rubber bullets, to disperse or otherwise control crowds, baton strikes, and the tactic of “kettling,” in which protesters either leave through an exit controlled by the police or are contained, prevented from leaving, and arrested.
In its response to the BLM-LA filing, plaintiffs' attorneys wrote that the city and LAPD support the constitutional right to engage in peaceful political protests and were assessing the actions police took “on six historical, wrenching nights from May 29 to June 3.”
The city's attorneys maintained that the “immediate wholesale elimination of several LAPD policies, without a more searching examination, is simply not warranted at this time.” They also noted that although the mass demonstrations were largely peaceful, there were also criminal acts of arson and looting which threatened public safety, and the LAPD “must be able to respond to such situations.”
In a federal lawsuit filed in June by the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, BLM-LA and Los Angeles Community Action Network, the plaintiffs maintain there were more than 3,000 people arrested over the course of several days of demonstrations and many were seriously injured by police.
The complaint included graphic photos of alleged protester injuries from rubber bullets and police batons, as well as descriptions of protesters who were held in buses in cramped conditions without access to restrooms, and injuries from too-tight handcuffs.
Dozens of other lawsuits have been filed by individuals who said they were injured by police at the demonstrations, the largest of which were held in downtown Los Angeles, the Fairfax District and Hollywood.