Mayor Tom Bradley and Police Chief Daryl Gates, on opposite sides of a crisis that has split the city since the videotaped police beating of an unarmed man, pledged to put aside their personal differences and "end the divisiveness."
Appearing Tuesday for the first time together since the March 3 beating of Rodney G. King by a group of officers, Bradley, Gates and City Council President John Ferraro agreed to cooperate as the various panels investigating the Police Department carry out their missions."It is time to end the divisivenss, to stop the rancorous debate," the three said in a joint statement. "It is time to think about what is best for this city and its citizens."
Bradley and Gates have been at political odds with each other for the past five weeks, battling by way of verbal skirmishes played out in the media as the fallout from the beating of the black motorist by a group of white cops polarized the city.
The controversy climaxed last week with Bradley calling on Gates to resign, which set off an extraordinary political chain reaction, with Gates defying the mayor, the Bradley-appointed Police Commission placing the chief on a forced 60-day leave and the City Council seeking to reinstate him.
The situation reached a new crescendo Monday when a Superior Court judge temporarily returned Gates to his office pending an April 25 hearing.
Although the three men agreed to cooperate, several differences remained.
Bradley said he still believes Gates should resign. "I don't want to rehash history. I made the statement and I stand by that statement."
Ferraro said he would like the Police Commission to rescind its decision to put Gates on leave, but Bradley said the commission should move forward with its investigation into whether the chief and his department exhibit a pattern of racism and brutality.