June 13, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

LA City Council Orders Investigation into LAPD Response to UCLA and USC Protests

Motion to Examine Police Actions During Gaza-Related Campus Demonstrations

By Dolores Quintana

The Los Angeles City Council has passed a motion that would require the Los Angeles Police Department and the Inspector General to investigate and present findings in an after-action report on its response to the recent campus protests at UCLA and USC related to the war in Gaza. The motion passed unanimously, 15 to 0. 

The Palestine Solidarity encampments were not interfered with by the administrations at UCLA and USC at first, but after time passed the administration at USC declared the encampment unlawful and had the police use force to remove the students. 

During the public comment section of the City Council meeting on Tuesday, a large number of community members, students, and union members echoed the call for a report on the incidents at UCLA and USC, including the LAPD, CHP, and LASD’s actions in dismantling the encampments, use of force, and the arrests of the protesters. Many insisted that the City Council call for a ceasefire. 

They were passionate about UCLA in particular, pointing out that the students were arrested, but none of the attackers were. There were repeated calls for amnesty for those who were arrested, but City Council President Paul Krekorian reminded them that the City Council does not have the power to grant amnesty. 

One community member, a grad student, angrily denounced UCLA and the LAPD, and said that the mother of one of the students in the encampment was hung up on by the LAPD ten times when she called from help in the encampment. The female student was 19 years old and had been beaten. She also noted that one of her student’s skull was cracked 30 times after the student was attacked. 

At UCLA, after a night of brutality from agitators intent on creating mayhem and causing injuries in the encampment, when students and faculty members were brutalized for hours on live television without UCLA or the police taking any action. The Chancellor called in LAPD, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol the following night to disperse the camp and arrested 200 members of the encampment. 

Strangely, not a single one of the men who had been filmed committing multiple assaults and other acts of violence, like shooting firecrackers into the encampment, were detained or questioned by the police. They were simply allowed to leave and some of them decided to linger and continued to attack members of the press. To date, only one of these attackers has been arrested. 

Council members have instructed the LAPD and the Office of Inspector General to detail how decisions were made during the protests and to provide recommendations for policy improvements.

Councilwoman Nithya Raman, who introduced the motion, expressed concern over the varied responses to the protests. She noted that hundreds of arrests were made for non-violent offenses at one campus, while there was no intervention at another campus where actual violence occurred for several hours.

“I’m concerned that these divergent responses leave our communities with questions and particularly leave our communities wondering whether the response protesters may get from law enforcement depends on their politics rather than on their actions,” Raman said.

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