Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti talks Kobe Bryant memorial, LAPD gang reports investigation

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti weighed in on the investigation into allegations that the officers with the Los Angeles Police Department wrongly classified innocent people as gang members in a California data base. On Eyewitness Newsmakers "As the Mayor," he says he welcomes the move by State Attorney General Xavier Becerra to look into the department.

"We need data but not bad data. Those two things are not mutually exclusive. Of course we want to track crime statistics. Of course we want to put cops on the dots where we're seeing break-ins," Garcetti said. "We want more patrols. But that is no excuse to ever falsify something. And to put a citizen that we're supposed to serve in the position of being classified as a gang member if they're not."

Meanwhile, as L.A.'s Metro considers expanding the rail system, a monorail over the Sepulveda Pass is coming up as an option. One viewer urged the mayor to support the idea.

Garcetti said he first brought up the monorail idea on an earlier Newsmakers program because a light rail over the pass won't work.

"Light rail can only go up a two or three percent grade, so there isn't a light rail that can go over the Sepulveda Pass, but the monorail can," he said. "So my understanding is that monorail is one of those options. I look forward to Metro's assessment. I'll take over as chair of Metro again July 1. It's a real priority for me this year to finalize if we can get from the North Valley to LAX. That's really what we want to see."

The mayor is also marking the two-year anniversary of the Evolve Entertainment Fund, which connects young people from underrepresented communities with the entertainment industry. It's a public-private partnership, and ABC is a participant. The mayor talked about his upcoming cameo on the comedy series "Black-ish" to support the program.

"It was fun to do a walk-on. 'Black-ish' is a great, great show, but the serious issue that we saw when #OscarsSoWhite came out, that the entertainment industry still is entertainment industry still is much whiter. Folks of color, women, are not in positions of authority, shot-callers, and we wanted to change that."

While preparations are underway for the upcoming public memorial for Kobe Bryant at Staples Center on Feb. 24, suggestions have been pouring in to the mayor's office for something permanent.

"People have talked about boulevards, people have talked about parks, people have talked about certain blocks," Garcetti said. "We want to hear from Angelenos, work with the Lakers, and be respectful of the organization and the family. But there's no question we're going to have something for the ages."
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