Rally organizers seek LAPD reform

first_imgAnd Bratton also announced he was promoting Cmdr. Sergio Diaz, a 30-year LAPD veteran, to replace Deputy Chief Caylor “Lee” Carter at the 1,700-member Central Division. “I will do the best job possible for all the people who live and work at Central Bureau, as well as all of the officers and personnel there,” said Diaz, whose previous assignments have included Internal Affairs and Special Operations. Carter, who was the senior officer in MacArthur Park when violence broke out, was demoted Monday to commander and indefinitely assigned to home duty earlier this week. Cmdr. Louis Gray, Carter’s second-in-command, was reassigned to the Operations Bureau. Also Tuesday, civil-rights attorney Steven Yagman announced that he’d filed a federal civil and class-action suit accusing the LAPD of engaging in racketeering during the May 1 event and seeking $10 million in damages. He claims his client, Geoffrey Baker, suffered a broken jaw when he was struck by police as they tried to clear the park of demonstrators. A week after an immigration rally erupted in violence, organizers called Tuesday for reform within the LAPD and Chief William Bratton announced a replacement for the deputy chief who was in charge during the May 1 clash. The Police Commission hearing was the first opportunity for the civilian panel to question Bratton about the melee at MacArthur Park. But Los Angeles Police Department critics and immigration advocates packed the chambers, blasting the department and renewing their concerns about police brutality. “If the LAPD acts like this in broad daylight, what do they do at night?” asked Georgina Lopez, drawing loud applause from a packed audience. But LAPD and Police Commission officials repeated previous promises to conduct thorough and unbiased investigations of the altercation, which capped a day of peaceful demonstrations for immigrants’ rights. The Police Commission hearing had originally been scheduled to hear Bratton’s bid for a second, five-year term, but last week’s clash knocked it off the agenda. In fact, several critics said during the hearing that Bratton should be fired. “I am sorry, chief, it is time for you to go,” said Lenore Solis, a member of the LAPD Hispanic Forum, who accused Bratton of being insensitive to the city’s growing Latino community. Meanwhile members of several immigrant-rights groups that planned the morning May Day rally are organizing a June 24 rally at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street to show they are not intimidated by police and will refocus on immigration reform. “All of us are united in expressing in the clearest voice possible that our community will not be intimidated into inaction,” said Jose Gutierrez of Latino Movement USA. [email protected] (818) 713-3741last_img read more