On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times took a swipe at Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, claiming that his exit to Washington D.C. on a trip largely revolving around a fund-raiser just as the Police Commission meeting was considering the police shooting of Ezell Ford was ill-timed, and his explanation too late.
The editorial board wrote: “The problem with Garcetti’s trip to Washington is that he didn’t come clean about it being for a fundraiser until after Times reporter Peter Jamison found out about it. Los Angeles, at a sensitive time, wants to know its mayor is on the job, on the spot and, most important, that he is being forthright about his actions and activities.”
The Times is not alone in its criticism, but its editorial is a sign of a mounting political crisis for Garcetti.
The Times admitted that Garcetti returned from Washington before the Police Commission rendered its decision, but pointed out that when protesters confronted Garcetti at his home the day before the Commission’s meeting, he asked them to move so he could get to the airport to make his flight rather than get out of the car and address them personally.
The Times added that Garcetti seemed “weaselly about the truth.”
Garcetti’s fundraiser on June 8, hosted by Harold Ickes, a former White House aide to President Clinton, invited 40 to 50 guests; they were requested to donate $1,400, the most allowed under L.A.’s campaign finance limits.
The Times asked” “But why couldn’t he just be straightforward about the purpose of his trip? Was it because he feared that leaving town for a fundraiser the day before the Police Commission meeting might make him look bad? And how does he think he looks now?”
Ford, unarmed, was shot last August 11; the Commission decided in June that one of the officers involved had violated department policy in fatally shooting him, prompting an outcry from members of the department. Craig Lally, the president of the union that represents rank-and-file officers, said, “This decision and the faulty reasoning behind it was irresponsible and [has] the potential of putting our officers at risk.”