Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel R. Moore sat down with Spectrum News 1 anchor Alex Cohen for an exclusive interview about officer training. He discussed the role law and order can — and should — play during demonstrations and protests. He says there hasn't been enough officer training.
"It's one of the areas that we're doing a top to bottom, full-spectrum review and analysis," he said.
Moore said, on average, officers spend about 50 hours per year in training. But, he said that instruction has focused on isolated conflicts in the community — not large-scale demonstrations.
"We saw that when those challenges arose — and some even new and more unique challenges that really only arrived in American policing in the last year or so — that our personnel, particularly our command officers, needed refresher training," he said.
Moore said this type of education includes ways to re-establish officer control and holding alleged wrongdoers accountable while protecting the First Amendment rights of demonstrators. In large part, he does not put the blame on rank-and-file officers who were on the front lines of large-scale events that sometimes turned violent during the summer of 2020.
"In instances where attacks occurred, I think they exercised a great deal of restraint. I do think that there are instances in which we fell short," he told "Inside the Issues." He adds some officers have been disciplined for their actions.
On the controversial issue of non-lethal weapons, Moore is adamant that they saved the lives of both officers and the public.
"Those tools gave those officers an ability to defend themselves without having to resort to deadly force," he said. That said, Moore admits there were cases in which officers' actions were erroneous, resulting in discipline.
There are new restrictions in place for LAPD officers, such as prohibiting hard foam projectiles during protests.
The chief wants to see what he calls "activism for reform" going forward.
"We were on a reform agenda prior to the events of George Floyd, and I was one of the first major city chiefs in America to denounce the actions of his arrest and his murder," he said.
Click on the arrow above to watch the conversation.
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