Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore is receiving backlash for claiming that people capitalizing on George Floyd's killing were as responsible for his death as the now-fired officers.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore apologized for a remark he made Monday, claiming that people using violence and capitalizing on George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis police custody were as responsible for his death as the now-fired officers.
Moore said at a late-afternoon news conference that about 700 people were arrested Sunday during mass protests over Floyd's death and police brutality. He noted that about 10% of those arrests were for burglary or looting, saying, "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. His death is on their hands as much as it is those officers,'' Moore said.
He apologized minutes later, saying he "misspoke when I said his blood is on their hands'' and that he regretted "that characterization.''
Moore went on to say that he did not regret nor would he apologize to the people "committing violence, destroying lives and livelihoods and creating this destruction.''
Of Floyd, he said, "His memory deserves reform. His memory deserves a better Los Angeles, a better United States and a better world.''
On Monday night, he tweeted, "I misspoke when making a statement about those engaging in violent acts following the murder of George Floyd.''
There were many tweets calling for Moore's resignation, interspersed with an occasional statement of support for the police chief.
Around 11 p.m., Moore issued an official apology in which he said, "I recognize that my initial words were terribly offensive. Looting is wrong, but it is not the equivalent of murder and I did not mean to equate the two. I deeply regret and humbly apologize for my characterization. Let me be clear: the police officers involved were responsible for the death of Mr. George Floyd.''
Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a statement on Twitter, in which many also called for Moore's resignation, and some called on Garcetti to fire the police chief.
On Tuesday morning, during the LAPD commission meeting on Zoom, many people were locked out of the meeting because it had a limit of 500 participants.
During the call, many participants called on Moore to resign.
"I want to echo the resounding claims that Chief Moore needs to resign, Chief Moore needs to be fired. His statements yesterday were completely unacceptable and completely emblematic of the way that he is behaving in this situation," one caller said during the meeting.
City News Service contributed to this report.