Civil rights attorney Connie Rice speaking remotely during Tuesday's L.A. City Council meeting
By Dan Fritz | KPFK
The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to formally review the tactics used by LAPD officers during protests against police violence that began at the end of May and continued into June.
The review will include investigations into incidents of excessive force, including the firing of rubber bullets, the use of tear gas; and, the review will include an analysis of whether the police took adequate precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Civil rights groups, including the ACLU, accused the city of imposing draconian curfews to criminalize peaceful protest. The review will include a look at how police engaged with people breaking curfews, along with an analysis of other ways the police may have infringed on constitutionally-protected rights, including blocking peaceful protesters from marching.
A similar review was done in 2007 in the aftermath of a massive protest on May Day that turned violent. The author of that report, Gerald Chaleff, is again being sought by the city to write the new review.
The council heard Tuesday from civil rights attorney Connie Rice. Council member Herb Wesson praised her, saying "there is not a better expert, in the world, to give us guidance on this type of thing... no one, other than Connie Rice."
The council turned down a proposal by the National Police Foundation to fund the review with a $350,000 donation, after Rice told the council that the foundation isn't independent from the department itself.
"In the recent protests, like for every other profile incident: the Mac Park police riot, the post-Rodney-King verdict, it's very important that independent outsiders do the analysis," said Rice. "No police department that I've ever sued or worked with, is capable of analyzing its own actions in the aftermath of a controversial incident."
Many of those detained during the protests were put on buses. Some have reported that they were packed in too tightly to maintain physical distancing, exposing them to COVID-19 infection. They blame the LAPD for imposing curfews to give police a pretense to arrest and pack them on the buses to discourage their activism.
"We want to make sure people have a right to exercise their rights," said council member Gil Cedillo. "This is a famous statement by Martin Luther King, 'the great thing about America is people have the right to protest for their rights.'"
30 Counties in California Will Now be Required to CLOSE INDOOR OPERATIONS
California Governor Gavin Newsom gives a COVID-19 update as cases continue to rise
Attempted Lynching in Indiana. No Arrests? Meet the Survivor: Human Rights Commissioner Vauhxx Booker STORYJULY 13, 2020Watch Full Show
African American human rights commissioner for Monroe County, Vauhxx Booker, says he survived an attempted lynching when a group of white men pinned him against a tree over the Fourth of July weekend.
Thoughts about Life in the Age of COVID-19 on the Occasion of My Daughter's 13th Birthday
What breaks me out of my routine, and brings me to write these observations is that today is the only day in my daughter's life that she will become a teenager. On this occasion, I can't help but consider how much damage this all might be doing to the person I love most in life; and what I can do to better protect her, and provide an adequate environment with everything so dramatically altered.
Massive Black Lives Matter Tribute Mural Unveiled in Hollywood
Five Black artists collaborated on the project: Alexandra Allie Belisle, PeQue Brown, Amanda Ferrell Hale, Noah Humes, and Shplinton. 'It's disgusting and outrageous that there is a need for such a mural in 2020,' Brown said Tuesday.