In a statement released today by the Mayor’s Office, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa apologized for what he says was an abuse of power on his part. The lame duck Mayor stated, “It has been difficult for me to sleep at night knowing what political and physical abuse that I have issued against these peaceful protestors.” The Mayor continues to cite incidents like the highly militarized 2011 raid against the Occupy LA encampment, which included 1,400 LAPD officers and 292 arrests. If given the opportunity to do it all over again the mayor says that he wished he had focused more on putting the real criminals in jail, the bankers.
The Mayors police chief, Charlie Beck, also spoke out regarding regrets of his treatment towards the Occupy Movement, citing the “Chalk Walk Riot” as a gross abuse of police power. Beck is referring to the July 12th, 2012 Art Walk, where 140 police officers in riot gear took the streets shooting innocent bystanders with rubber bullets and tear gas. He continues to go on to say that he will now shift his focus to investigating police brutality and reversing the militarization of the police.
Despite the turnaround of the Mayor and Police Chief, the prosecutors office was unapologetic about their ruthless pursuit of occupy protesters and in an apparently vindictive move, a statement was released which vowed to retry those arrested in the raid, regardless of whether cases were closed or not.