City Hall

First test: Mayor Garcetti is out of the city, but where?

Beck and Villaraigosa the night the LAPD raided Occupy LA in 2011.

Mayor Eric Garcetti's whereabouts as his police department is on tactical alert making arrests in the streets are not officially known. The press schedule released to the media on Friday says only that he will be gone at least through Friday, July 19. The full text: "Mayor Garcetti will be traveling next week and will have no public events in Los Angeles. He will be in Washington, DC later in the week meeting with federal officials about transportation, economic, and other issues."

As small but angry crowds began to hit the streets of Los Angeles and other cities on Sunday in response to the George Zimmerman verdict in Florida, Garcetti or his staff did post a single tweet in his name.

The LA Times amazingly gave Garcetti a web-story headline — Garcetti urges calm... — based solely on the tweet, without adding a stitch of information on where the mayor might be or what he might actually be doing with regard to the situation. Disappearing without prepping the public with abundant detail his third week in office probably wasn't the smartest thing for Garcetti to do. At best, it's a lost opportunity to look like the leader of the city. Antonio Villarigosa would have already held a press conference — maybe two, at 6 and 11 — and nudged Chief Beck to the side of the podium. If the city blows up while Garcetti is gone, his trip wherever could elevate to a major gaffe. Here's hoping his presence isn't needed.

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