LAPD Chief Issues Formal Apology for Controversial George Floyd Comment: "I Misspoke"

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore

"Looting is wrong, but it is not the equivalent of murder and I did not mean to equate the two," the top cop said, in part.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore issued a formal apology late Monday night for a comment he made earlier in the day during a press conference covering the protests, looting and curfew in Los Angeles. 

Moore ignited a firestorm on social media when he said of looters that the death of George Floyd was "on their hands, as much as it is on those [Minneapolis] officers'." 

The reaction to the comment was swift. "The audacity. The ignorance. This man lost any credibility he ever had, which was a long shot to begin with," Ava DuVernay said on Twitter, where people used the hashtag #FireMoore to call for his ouster.

The top cop first tried to walk the comment back on Twitter in a single post around 7:30 p.m.: "Let me be clear — there are 4 police officers and 4 alone responsible for the death of George Floyd. Simply put: Those intent on spewing mayhem and distraction into our communities are a disgrace to his memory." 

However, as outrage continued to boil over, Moore issued a formal apology via multiple tweets around 11 p.m. 

"My Apology for Remark Regarding the Death of George Floyd During a Press Conference Earlier Today: I misspoke when making a statement about those engaging in violent acts following the murder of George Floyd," Moore wrote. "While I did immediately correct myself, I recognize that my initial words were terribly offensive. Looting is wrong, but it is not the equivalent of murder and I did not mean to equate the two. I deeply regret and humbly apologize for my characterization."

He concluded, "Let me be clear: the police officers involved were responsible for the death of George Floyd." 

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who social media users called on to fired Moore, defended his police chief. "The responsibility for George Floyd’s death rests solely with the police officers involved. Chief Moore regrets the words he chose this evening and has clarified them," the mayor said via Twitter.