After several days of unrest, some police officers across the country are trying different approaches to calming protests and keeping the peace. Los Angeles has been one of the hardest hit by the demonstrations that sprouted in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. His murder while in police custody reignited long-simmering feelings, leading to marches and looting across the nation.
For the LAPD, the issue is layered more than others and many instantly go back to the 1992 riots. With at least two days of violence in the city since Floyd's murder, Chief of Police Michel Moore took to the streets to talk with protesters and keep calm.
"Yesterday was an opportunity to restart, and we witnessed that opportunity escape our collective ability to reach common ground—There were moments to do one thing, communicate as people, absent of violence," Moore wrote on Twitter after speaking to the protesters. "We start today with the hope and expectation that we can do just that."
Moore also added that he had to de-escalate several of his officers personally and has handed out his business card to those he's met if they had been wronged by the police.
"Do we have individual failures? Yes. And I will investigate each instance. And I will hold accountable those that violate that trust and my expectation," Moore said during a press conference Sunday. He also shocked many by saying he believes that former officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis murdered Floyd.
The statements by Moore follow two days of mayhem, curfews and the National Guard being called into Los Angeles. While most protests have been peaceful, the frustrations and agitation among those on the streets has opened doors to looting and vandalism. Many police have also been caught on camera instigating these confrontations. On Saturday, police stopped a peaceful protest in Hollywood, leading to a police car being set ablaze and people attempting to break into CBS Studios using dumpsters.
Many involved in the protests have claimed outside sources or police are starting the violence. The confusion and chaos on the streets doesn't make this claim easy to verify, but Moore's comments do highlight that some police are aware of the separation within people on the streets.