Protecting Rights, Public Safety

Last night, we saw an unfortunate few commit crimes that threatened the peace of our communities and threatened to overshadow the peaceful majority who were gathered to exercise their First Amendment Rights.

As Mayor, my most important duty is to protect people's safety and their constitutional and civil rights. That is what we will do tonight.

Together with the community and the LAPD, we are calling on Angelenos to practice peace and to not let the dialogue sparked by Trayvon Martin's death be silenced by violence. We are united in making sure that our neighborhoods -- and the people who live and do business within them -- are safe and secure.

We are prepared and we all agree: no cause is advanced and no good is accomplished when a window is broken, when traffic is blocked, or when someone is assaulted. So we are united, too, in maintaining peace on our streets. LAPD will respond quickly to any criminal activity. We will not let a few troublemakers keep the rest of us from living our lives and expressing our voices.

I spent today in a dialogue with community members. I met with and listened to a group of teenagers -- about 100 of them -- to make sure they know that their mayor respects their voice, hears their frustration, and wants to work with them to make a positive difference. I stopped for lunch on Crenshaw to let people know that we are going to make sure communities are open for business. I met with a couple of local teachers I know about how we can better help our kids and keep them on the right track. And I spoke to local residents who said they disagree with the violence they saw last night most of all because it affects them the most.

So let us stay united as a community and as a city and make Los Angeles a place where rights and public safety are protected.