L.A. police chief says more rioting is not inevitable

March 11, 1993|By Los Angeles Daily News

LOS ANGELES -- Police Chief Willie L. Williams, whose office has a view of the federal building where the Rodney King beating trial is being played out, says his department is prepared to meet any violence triggered by verdicts in the case.

"I believe that in spite of the headlines, in spite of the stories you have heard . . . about the next riot, that we don't have to accept it as inevitable. We can control our own future," Chief Williams told 300 people attending the Los Angeles County Peace Officers Association's "LAPD Day" yesterday.

"We all have to make a commitment to make Los Angeles safe, to make it a viable community," Chief Williams said. "Los Angeles will not have the problems we had last April if we all work together."

At a riot preparedness seminar before Chief Williams' speech, Lt. Mike Hillman of the Los Angeles Police Department's Metro Division said that arrangements have been made to give the department advance time to deal with the verdicts.

"There are plans to deal with that," Lieutenant Hillman said, but he would not elaborate.

After his speech, Chief Williams said that the department plans a heightened presence when the verdicts in the King and the Reginald Denny beating cases are in.

"I can watch the outside of the trial from my office window, across the street," he said. "And naturally I'm watching very closely."

Chief Williams said that the department continues to prepare for whatever is necessary.

"We will have strong, increased visibility at the culmination of this trial," he said.

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