Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton offered his strongest apology yet yesterday for the actions of an elite platoon of Metropolitan Division officers who swarmed a May Day immigration rally in MacArthur Park, the Los Angeles Times reports. He said those officers are off the streets until he finds out what went wrong. Saying he watched videos of the incident, which left several reporters and rally attendees injured by batons and rounds of foam bullets and sock-like projectiles, Bratton called the officers’ conduct indefensible.
Bratton said the 60 members of the Metropolitan Division’s Platoon B have been “stood down” and won’t return to active street duties until they have undergone retraining that meets his level of comfort. He said officers in the unit, an elite corps of men and women trained in various crises including crowd disturbances, had 15 to 25 years on the force and are among the most highly trained of the city’s 9,500 officers. “This was my best, and that was what was extraordinarily disturbing about this,” Bratton said. The police union warned that remarks being made publicly by the city’s leadership could have a paralyzing effect on officers’ morale.