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City News - Press Releases

Posted on: February 23, 2017

Mayor Tom Tait's Remarks from Press Conference on Incident Involving Off-Duty LAPD Officer

Mayor Tom Tait speaks at press conference

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Feb. 23, 2017) — Mayor Tom Tait spoke Thursday at a joint press conference with the Anaheim Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Anaheim Union High School District and the Orange County Human Relations Commission. Find his full remarks below.

Good afternoon. I want to thank everyone for being here today.

Anaheim takes this matter very seriously, as does everyone here with us today. I, like many in the community, have seen the video, and am deeply concerned and, frankly, angered about what it shows.

The video shows an adult wrestling with a 13-year-old kid and ultimately firing a gun. I’m thankful that no one was seriously hurt. This should never have happened in one of our neighborhoods, near one of our schools.

Now, we as a city are left to figure this all out, and Anaheim is committed to a full and impartial investigation. Our city will move forward without delay and conclude our investigation as soon as possible.

I have every confidence that Police Chief Raul Quezada and the Anaheim Police Department investigators working this case will uncover the facts and get to the truth about what happened. As in all cases like this, our findings will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office to determine how justice should be pursued.

Separate from that, the Los Angeles Police Department is taking its own course of action. Last night, I spoke with city of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and he assured me that his city takes this matter very seriously. I thank him for his help with this.

I have received many questions asking why the kids were arrested, but not the guy with the gun. Our community deserves an answer to that question. However, we all must keep in mind what the officers knew at the time of the incident and that they didn’t have the benefit of the video we’ve all since seen.

Once our part in this investigation is complete, we will take a look at how we handled the situation. If we find there are things we could have done better, we will acknowledge and own that and it will help us do better in the future.

But, as a city, right now we need to respect the process. For those who have expressed concern and even outrage over what they saw, I understand how you feel and I commend you for speaking out and sharing your concerns with us.

As a city, we stand by anyone who peacefully engages in Anaheim. We honor and protect everyone’s constitutional right to express themselves, but violence has no place in our city and will not be tolerated. Destroying property and infringing on the rights of others, that is not Anaheim.

Today I ask for everyone’s patience in avoiding any rush to judgement. I can assure you our investigation will be impartial and thorough, regardless of who is involved in this situation. We must be mindful that the constitution ensures equal treatment for all.

If you have additional video or information that can help with this investigation, or if just you want to share your concern about the incident, please call (714) 765-7990. That is how you can help.

This has been a blow to our community. We have worked for years to foster kindness and trust among neighbors, and we’ve made great progress. But what the world saw in that video does not reflect a community where neighbors help each other every day to build a stronger city.

We’re not always perfect, but we have fostered a city of kindness and compassion that makes for a stronger Anaheim. It is that kindness and compassion that will help us through this.

Thanks again to all for being here today.


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