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Black Lives Matter Protesters Demand Answers From Mayor Garcetti

After fleeing town hall meeting Tuesday, some say Garcetti refuses to address racial questions. 

The South Los Angeles community still wants to know the plan to address police brutality and overall community safety after Mayor Garcetti abruptly ended a town-hall-style meeting aimed to address the concerns of the Black Lives Matter protest group due to disruptions.

Garcetti walked out of the meeting after a series of acts, beginning with protesters yelling at the mayor over what they call a lack of respect and culminating with throngs of people obstructing the mayor as he attempted to leave the Holman United Methodist Church.

Dr. Melina Abdullah, a Black Lives Matter Los Angeles Organizer, says that the spontaneous protest was ignited when Garcetti attempted to renege on promises he made to the community about the nature of the town-hall-style meeting.

"The meeting didn't have to turn out that way," Dr. Abdullah said. "Everyone who came to that meeting and ultimately disrupted came as a member of the community wanting to be in a dialogue with the mayor."

But Dr. Abdullah says "a dialogue" was not the kind of event Garcetti wanted to have. 

"He only opened the floor to questions, and wouldn't allow comments or statements," Dr. Abdullah continued. "The black community is not going to be talked at. We know what it's like to live in South Los Angeles, and he needs to hear it."

Dr. Abdullah chairs the Pan-African Studies department at California State Los Angeles. 

Mayor Garcetti did end up addressing Monday night's departure from the meeting later in the day during one of his regularly scheduled events.

"People are going to be upset, and a lot of times they have a good reason to be," Garcetti said. "But I'm going to keep doing the job I was elected to do."

According to Dr. Abdullah, Monday's town hall meeting was supposed to be the first in a series of dialogues with the community, but a next meeting has yet to be scheduled. 

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