At a press conference held by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday, the city’s police chief, Michel Moore, initially sought to place blame on those fomenting violence.
“Last night,” said Moore, “just under 700 arrests. Of that, just under 70 were for looting and burglarizing.”
Of the incident that sparked the protests, the death of George Floyd after his arrest by Minneapolis police, Moore said, “His death is on their hands, as much as it is on those officers.'”
After Garcetti retook the podium, he called the chief back up to clarify those comments.
Chief Moore then said that, as he reflected on his words, he did not intend to lay the blame for George Floyd’s death on rioters.
“I misspoke when I said his blood was on their hands,” said Moore, “but certainly their actions do not serve the enormity of his loss. What his name should stand for is the catalyst for change. I regret the remarks of that characterization, but I don’t regret, nor will I apologize to those out there creating destruction. His memory deserves better.”
“His death was at the hands of those police officers,” Moore affirmed. “What I saw there wasn’t right.”
As the chief spoke, images played out on local television of looters raiding a Rite Aid on Sunset and Gower in Hollywood.
“We must turn a corner,” Moore implored.
“We are efforting to support and make sure people’s voices are heard…that you can’t hear because of the violence.”