At a press conference held by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, LAPD Chief Michael Moore said George Floyd’s death is on looters’ hands “as much as” the Minneapolis officers physically responsible.
His comments were made on Monday as he and the mayor updated the public about the ongoing riots throughout the city, leading to the arrests of hundreds of people.
“Last night, we had just under 700 arrests. Of that, just under 70 were for looting and burglarizing,” Moore said via Yahoo! Entertainment.
The police chief said he did not witness peaceful protesting, but violent rioting.
“We didn’t have protests last night, we had criminal acts. We didn’t have people mourning the death of this man, George Floyd. We had people capitalizing,” he continued, specifically recognizing he knew the statement to be a “strong” one.
Join me live with LAPD Chief Moore and LAFD Chief Terrazas for an update on how we’re facilitating peaceful protests, keeping our communities safe, and ensuring that the destructive acts of a few don’t overshadow the movement for racial justice. https://t.co/ORRtO2APBo
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) June 2, 2020
Later, Moore apologized and backtracked, saying he did not intend to blame protesters.
“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.”
The LAPD chief affirmed: “His death was at the hands of those police officers. What I saw there wasn’t right.”
Several people online did not agree with Moore’s comments:
He didn’t stutter. And he immediately said, “I know that’s a strong statement.” He can’t walk this back and neither can you. We saw it. We heard it. Fire him. https://t.co/Cze2hoFsxO
— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) June 2, 2020
Your police chief said that "the blood of #GeorgeFloyd's death was on protesters hands."
It's disgusting. It's wrong. And the people of Los Angeles should know their Mayor lacks the backbone to stand up and fire him for making a racist statement.
You are part of systemic racism https://t.co/CdKEYnWEAV
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) June 2, 2020
Nah, you gotta man up and fire him NOW chief. Also, why are you apologizing for him? https://t.co/HHV1yQpfSA
— Malik Forté 🎤 (@Malik4Play) June 2, 2020
The only clarification needed is for you to fire him.
— roxane gay (@rgay) June 2, 2020
Fire him then resign.
— Cody Johnston (@drmistercody) June 2, 2020
A petition to remove Moore on Change.org had already received over 3,300 signatures at the time of publication.