Mayor on MacArthur Park

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's statement on the violence against the police, and by the police, during the May 1 rally in the park.

Yesterday, across the country, we witnessed a day of overwhelmingly peaceful speeches and assemblies in the best American tradition. Approximately 35,000 Angelenos took to the streets to exercise their First Amendment rights.

At approximately 5:30, near the conclusion of a day of peaceful marches and rallies in Los Angeles, it seems that a small number of individuals began throwing objects at police officers. This was a sad end to a very peaceful and positive day.

We believe that the individuals who instigated the conflict had no direct connection to the marches.

As police personnel worked to clear the street and the park, and as the march organizers asked the crowd to disperse, members of the media and the public appear to have been caught in the exchange between the LAPD and these instigators.

I have reviewed the extensive video of the incident, and like every Angeleno, I am obviously and deeply concerned.

Any time that our law enforcement officials employ force, the public has an absolute and unqualified right to expect and demand an aggressive review of the facts. This review is already underway.

I have asked Chief Bratton to oversee a complete and comprehensive review of this incident. While we won't make any rush to judgment, we can't be afraid to make tough judgments about this or any incident.

I am asking Police Commission President John Mack to ensure a comprehensive and thorough review of the actions taken by LAPD. He has
assured my office that the Commission intends to review the incident aggressively.

In addition, I am in close and constant communication with Acting Mayor Eric Garcetti, and we will continue to work together to monitor the situation and the facts as they unfold.

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