The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to go to court to seek a reversal of the Police Commission decision to temporarily relieve Chief Daryl Gates while it investigates the Rodney King beating.
The council approved the plan on a 10-3 vote after holding an hours-long closed-door meeting with Mayor Tom Bradley.Earlier in the day, Bradley, seeking to deflect the uproar over the Police Commission's move to place Gates on administrative leave, denied influencing the panel's decision.
Shortly before entering the closed-door session, Bradley said he intended to tell council members "the background leading up to the Police Commission's action and hopefully put that into its proper context."
Saying they were looking out for the "best interets" of the city, three of the city's police commissioners on Thursday temporarily relieved Gates of his duties until it completes its investigation of the King beating.
Gates vowed to challenge the action and said he intends to seek a reversal in court Monday.
The chief's removal enraged members of the council. Councilman Joel Wachs accused the mayor of a "naked political power grab," suggesting he orchestrated the ouster.
"That is one of the things I will raise and clarify for (the council)," Bradley told reporters before Friday's meeting. "This action by the Police Commission was their independent action. They did share with me their plans, but at no point did I try to influence them one way or another."
One councilman, who requested anonymity, said that despite what the mayor intended to say in closed session, Bradley would not be able to get enough votes in the council to protect the Police Commission.
Only Councilman Michael Woo has publicly supported the commission's decision.