Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti discussed his views on law enforcement, and his efforts on police reform, during a candid interview with Breitbart California Editor Joel B. Pollak at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday.
“I don’t want anyone to be unsafe on our streets; including our cops,” Garcetti said. “I want to make sure that they are accountable, transparent, but also well-equipped, well-supported and well-trained. And that’s where we could support our police officers.”
Pollak pointed out that Garcetti has been one of the more vocal public officials to come out in support of police in the last few weeks. Garcetti agreed. However, he also noted that he is an advocate for police reform; a position he “embraces.”
“You know, I think there’s a real opening,” Garcetti said. He noted that the day after the Dallas shootings, in which five officers were targeted and killed during a Black Lives Matter demonstration, L.A. held a protest that was initially meant to be pro-police reform, which Garcetti said is “something I also embrace,” but that it “turned into something that was pro-police and pro-police reform.” Garcetti added that seeing public figures like “Snoop Dog” and “The Game” also present at that protest made him realize “there was a bridge that hadn’t been built in years. And I want to continue that voice.”
Pollak pressed further, noting that despite several of members of L.A.’s black community disrupting Garcetti’s town halls and voicing their frustration with and opposition to police forces, Garcetti has remained steadfast in his support for the police.
In response, Garcetti said “I believe, actually, that police reform is really important. It’s been huge part of my agenda before Ferguson started. We started working with our police officers and civil rights folks, and civil libertarians, on putting cameras on our cops. We were the first big city in America to do it,” he noted. “But I don’t think it has to come at the expense of supporting our officers. And for protesters, I support different tactics. You know, I’ve been a protester before.”
Garcetti also noted that there is an “open door” through which protesters, and particularly those who have been vocal in their opposition to his support for “blue lives,” can walk in order to reach him and express themselves. In the same breath, he noted that he would never “exclude a conversation that includes police officers as well as actively wanting to make sure our city is safe.”
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz