Bass asks Police Commission to delay vote on reappointing LAPD chief

A vote to reappoint Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore to a second term was delayed Tuesday as Mayor Karen Bass weighed whether he’s the person she wants for the job, according to officials.

The five-member commission met in closed session but took no vote on Moore’s future, a commission spokeswoman said. The vote will be rescheduled, but the commission did not give a new date.

While the Police Commission has the power under city rules to reappoint an incumbent chief, Los Angeles mayors typically reserve the power to appoint chiefs of police who fit their vision for public safety.

Bass appears to want to take a harder look at whether to keep the current chief: Shortly after Moore submitted a formal application for a second term on Dec. 27, and after Police Commission President William Briggs issued a statement lauding the chief’s tenure so far, the mayor asked Briggs to delay the vote.

“The Mayor provided this guidance because she feels a vote on the first meeting following the chief’s request is too soon,” said Zachary Seidl, a spokesman for the mayor, in a statement.

In his own statement, Briggs said Bass “has made it clear to me that she wants to move expeditiously on whether Chief Moore is reappointed.”

But she asked him to pause the vote for now.

“Mayor Bass wants the Chief to be discussed at the January 10 meeting,” Briggs said. “The vote will be taken at a later date.”

The current commission is made up of all appointees of former Mayor Eric Garcetti. Moore, too, is an appointee of Garcetti — the former mayor chose him in 2018, heralding him as a longtime LAPD insider who would follow up on reforms started under his predecessor, Charlie Beck.

During his time as chief, Moore has pushed forward on reforms rethinking the traditional role of police on the beat. He supported the creation of LAPD’s SMART units, which paired officers with mental health clinicians to respond to an increasing number of mental health-related calls.

Under his watch, LAPD also expanded its Community Safety Partnership program to San Fernando Gardens in Pacoima. The program embeds groups of officers in the city’s public-housing projects, tasking them with talking with residents to solve quality-of-life issues.

However, Garcetti also stuck with Moore through multiple crises and critical moments for LAPD, despite calls from activists for the chief to be fired.

Moore was criticized for the department’s violent, chaotic response to the 2020 George Floyd protests, as well as his comments during them appearing to blame some instigators of violence during them for Floyd’s death.

Activists again called for Moore to be removed following the accidental but deadly 2021 blast in South L.A. triggered when the department’s bomb squad put too many fireworks in a containment vessel.

Black Lives Matter L.A. and other civil rights groups in the city have also continued to call for Moore to be fired for each deadly shooting by the department’s officers over the years. The number of deaths of civilians at the hands of LAPD officers went down in each of the first three years of Moore’s tenure, but spiked again in 2021, when officers killed 17 people.

The number of police killings fell in 2022, with LAPD officers fatally shooting 14 people.

In public comments before the commission went into closed session on Tuesday, dozens of speakers called on the commission members to vote against reappointing the chief, with a few voicing their support to keep him.

“Chief Moore needs to go,” said Melina Abdullah, a Cal State L.A. professor and one of the founders of Black Lives Matter L.A. “We’ve called for him to be removed. We don’t want him renewed.”

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