LA police union demands audit over LAPD handling of protest

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ByRob Hayes via KABC logo
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
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The LAPPL officially asked the Los Angeles City Controller's Office to conduct an investigative audit into the handling of protests.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Law enforcement officials have expressed concern with the extra hours officers have had to work to as protesters marched in opposition of President-elect Donald Trump.

On Monday, hundreds of high school students walked out of their classrooms and into the streets of Los Angeles. It was the latest demonstration in a string of protest over the last week.

While protesters voiced their frustrations, police unions said they were frustrated too.

"Whose side is the mayor on?" Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League questioned.

Leaders with the LAPPL blamed Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for the protest, alleging that he encouraged demonstrators to march through the streets.

The LAPPL said two officers were attacked at one of the protests.

"The officer was struck from behind, beaten with his handcuffs and punched in the back of the head by a third party. An additional officer was attacked and his firearm was stolen," Robert Harris, director of the LAPPL said.

Garcetti's office pointed ABC7 to a quote the mayor released following Election Day, which read, "...there's no place for the destruction of property, for the dangerous stopping of traffic, in a city where the overwhelming majority of people are exercising peaceful protesting."

The LAPPL was also upset with the Los Angeles Police Department's command ranks, stating the front-line police response had been woefully understaffed.

Union leaders claimed the department didn't have a plan for post-election demonstrations and had indirectly encouraged protesters to get more aggressive.

"When people aren't arrested for even minor violations, it emboldens them to do other things," Lally said. "That's why you got to arrest them for a violation, get them warehoused and get them off the street."

While some protesters have become violent, activists pointed out that the majority of demonstrators have been peaceful and were calling for unity.

"We are not here to disrespect him in any way or say that we don't want him as our president. We have to accept this," Arlene Contreras, student at Mendez High School said.

The LAPPL has officially asked the Los Angeles City Controller's Office to conduct an investigative audit.

Leaders of the LAPPL said they wanted to know why the LAPD didn't declare a city-wide tactical alert and why the officers at demonstrations didn't have more back-up.

Over the weekend, approximately 8,000 demonstrators gathered in downtown Los Angeles to form the largest anti-Trump rally to date since Election Day.