Interview with LAPD Chief Michael Moore

August 19, 2020


Law enforcement is under more scrutiny than ever before, and few people carry such a deep understanding of the crossroads at which the profession stands as LAPD Chief Michael Moore. His decades on the force in one of the nation’s largest, most populous, and most diverse cities give him a unique and valuable perspective in the ongoing struggle to define and deliver justice for all in the United States of America.

2:15 Creating Consistency
Moore has become the target of public scorn over recent weeks for the behavior of his department, particularly at the ongoing police brutality demonstrations stemming from the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis nearly two months ago. Acknowledging that individual officers may step out of line with deadly results, Moore advocates for greater inquiry into each case to better understand how to use the tools at an officer´s disposal.

3:16 Top Cops Handcuffed?
Asked to comment on extrajudicial shootings around the country, such as those of Breonna Taylor in Louisville and Rashard Brooks in Atlanta, Chief Moore highlights the significant differences between what top police officials are able to do unilaterally in various jurisdictions. In his view, the swift termination of the officers involved in these killings go beyond what Moore himself would be able to accomplish in any event, as the legal system of Los Angeles is designed to provide ample protection and recourse to its police officers.

5:22 On No-Knock Warrants
No-knock warrants allow police officers to enter the homes of private citizens without identifying themselves as law enforcement or obtaining the permission of the homeowner, and the inherent flaws of this legal construct have been drawn into clear focus in the killing of Breanna Taylor, an EMT who was shot by officers as she slept in her bed. Moore believes they should be used sparingly, if at all, and expands on how execution of these warrants run counter to the techniques officially employed by the LAPD.

7:08 Angles of Truth
The lawless conduct of Los Angeles police of late has drawn pointed comparisons to the 1992 riots that resulted from the acquittal of officers filmed viciously beating Rodney King as he lay prone on the freeway. Moore insists that the use of force by his officers was minimal, and employed only to protect the community and its resources. Regarding the pictures and videos of these incidents of officer misconduct captured by everyday citizens, he contends that they may not represent the reality of the scenarios depicted. 

11:34 Methodical Management
Moore repeatedly asks for patience with his department as they navigate a challenging situation. Where citizens may demand immediate action when faced with clear and public evidence of misconduct among the city´s officers, he sees more merit in a meticulous approach. He stresses the importance of placing events in their proper context, about understanding how the actions of all parties involved may have contributed to a given outcome, and facilitating order regardless of the circumstances.

22:41 A Career that Speaks for Itself
Over the years, the LAPD has earned a checkered reputation for their relationships with poor and minority communities. Chief Moore recently added fuel to the fire with some uniquely inflammatory remarks, stating that demonstrators ¨were as responsible for George Floyd´s death as the officer who kneeled on his neck.¨ Amid widespread calls for his resignation, Moore claims he misspoke on a single occasion, which should not take away from his service, and that he will continue to serve the people of Los Angeles to the best of his ability.

33:19 Public Trust: A $1.8 Billion Building Project
Asked to justify the LAPD´s annually swelling budget in a time when so many other public services such as education and healthcare go underfunded, Moore points to the importance of addressing crime at a structural level. He sees building community confidence and public engagement as key to creating more equitable outcomes for all members of a society, and has come to believe that the LAPD is a vital piece of that puzzle.

Contact LAPD Chief Michael Moore:
Department Phone: (213) 996-1200
Offices: Police Commission – Alarm Section
100 West First Street, Room 134
Los Angeles, California 90012


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