LAPD Chief Charlie Beck on Red Line incident: 'Let's all be civil'

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LAPD Chief Charlie Beck stopped by the ABC7 studio Wednesday and discussed the Red Line incident and more. (KABC)

Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck stopped by the Eyewitness News studio Wednesday and discussed the Red Line incident and more.

Red Line incident

A woman was recently forcibly removed from a Metro Red Line train by an LAPD sergeant after she refused to take her feet off a seat.

Video shows the officer removing 18-year-old Bethany Nava, of North Hollywood, from the train as she protests.

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The Los Angeles Police Department is looking into a use-of-force incident on a Metro Red Line train in which a woman was forcibly removed after she wouldn't take her feet off a seat.



Beck said he is not going to "prejudge this" situation.

"What I would ask everybody is that let's all be civil in our interactions," the chief said.

The chief admitted there were things in the video that concerned him, but he also said the sergeant involved in the situation has been on the force for 20 years and has almost no use-of-force history.

"We owe him an unbiased investigation, that is more than just watching a snippet of video and making a judgment," Beck said, emphasizing that during the incident, someone -- not Nava -- spat on the sergeant.

Beck explained that the LAPD has a contract with MTA, and as part of that contract, officers ride buses and trains to enforce the code of conduct.

"Officers are there to remind the passengers of the code of conduct that you agree to when you board those things - and one of them is - you're not going to loud, you're not going to be obnoxious to other passengers, you're not going to put your feet on, you're not going to graffiti, all that stuff so we can have a good transit experience," Beck said, adding that there are still multiple pieces of video to be reviewed in the case.

Off-duty LAPD officer in 2017 confrontation with teens

Beck also spoke about the case involving the off-duty LAPD officer who fired his gun during a scuffle with teenagers in Anaheim last year. The Orange County district attorney announced Wednesday that no criminal charges will be filed against Officer Kevin Ferguson.

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After an off-duty cop fired his gun during an altercation with teens, many took to the streets of Anaheim in protest.



"That's certainly not the end of it...there's an administrative investigation," Beck said, adding that he's concerned about Ferguson's judgment in this incident.

Beck said the investigation will determine what will be the appropriate punishment for Ferguson - if any - in this case.

Retirement

The chief also spoke about the legacy he will leave behind when he retires on June 27. He said as chief, his goal has always been to lead from the ground up.

"In other words, to create a police department that does the right thing regardless of what the chief says - and doesn't depend on the chief for entire direction," he said.

He added that it will be tough to walk away from his post.

"I was never enamored by being the chief. I was enamored by the ability to make this a better place to work, live, play and raise their families," he said.

Next police chief

Beck also weighed in on what type of person should become the next chief of the LAPD.

He said the next chief needs to have a calm and steady presence.

"Angelenos look to the chief to see whether they should be concerned or not, and they look to the chief to help them through tough times in the city," he said.

Beck also said the department needs a chief who is very experienced in law enforcement and also experienced in how the city works. He said Los Angeles is very complicated in its layering of authority, and the city needs a chief who knows how to work collaboratively with other leaders to get things done.
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