The mayor told reporters this morning that the takeover of City Hall Park was "maybe the finest moment in the history of the Los Angeles Police Department." Not to take anything away from the police action - all indications are that the operation went well - but that's a pretty low standard for the LAPD, especially when you consider all the terrible blunders and brutality over the years (most recently at MacArthur Park). And let's be honest: The Occupy L.A. encampment, which at the end had been whittled down to a few hundred protesters, hardly compared to some of the city's real disasters (earthquakes, riots, gangs, corruption, etc.) Still and all, it's nice to see this thing end on a mostly positive note - and in watching this morning's press conference, the sense of relief among city officials was almost palpable. By the way, there is no official estimate on the costs for cleanup and extra police, but Villaraigosa said damages will run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and may go beyond $1 million. That's not a huge amount of money, all things considered.
*The LAT's Steve Lopez also thought that the self congratulating went too far:
OK, things went relatively well last night, no question about it. But this wasn't Patton at the Battle of the Bulge, and the protesters were cooperative and nonviolent for the most part. A pat on the back may be in order here, and sure, that was a clever move to use City Hall as a Trojan horse, with battalions of officers suddenly emerging to overwhelm demonstrators before things could get out of hand. But do we really need city officials to take bows for doing their jobs? Do we need to congratulate cops for showing restraint?