Vowing to restore public confidence in the Los Angeles Police Department, City Councilman Jack Weiss, co-chairman of the task force, called for “an investigation as thorough as possible.” Luis Carrillo, civil rights lawyer representing Gonzalez and 23 others, called for a full federal investigation and the removal of Bratton, who attended the event. But the chief found some support from the crowd and council members. Art Placencia, president of the national Latino Police Officers Association, said LAPD is 30 percent Latino and he defended Bratton’s record with the community. “He’s always been open and listens to Latino concerns,” Placencia said. “Those (officers) that did cause a problem that day will be dealt with.” The first of five public hearings scheduled to address the LAPD’s highly criticized use of force at a May 1 immigration rights’ rally drew about 250 people Monday, some of whom called for Police Chief William Bratton’s resignation. “I was hit very hard on my eye and face,” said Sophia Gonzalez, a demonstrator who said that prior to the May 1 rally at MacArthur Park she was supportive of the Los Angeles Police Department. “How do I explain to my three children why we were beaten by the police?” Gonzalez and others addressed the City Council’s Special Task Force, which is investigating the melee that followed the mostly peaceful demonstration. Also on hand at the hearing at Charles White Elementary School, located just across the street from MacArthur Park, were Los Angeles Police Department Inspector General Andre Birotte Jr., and several other council members. The Special Task Force is the City Council’s inquiry into the May Day clash. Weiss who co-chairs the task force, along with Councilman Ed Reyes, said he supports Bratton. The chief has come under fire from critics, who blast him for “losing control” of his police force and police union leaders, who accuse the chief of cowing to public outrage. “There’s no question that it was a serious and alarming incident,” said Weiss, who plans to run for city attorney. “But I’ve never seen a public official respond to a crisis as energetically as Chief Bratton.” Weiss said he supports Bratton’s bid for a second term as police chief. The controversy began during the immigration rights rally when late in the day officers were pelted with debris from a small crowd of agitators. They then moved into the park, where they began to clear out peaceful rally participants, including families and members of the media. The officers struck some of the protesters and journalists with batons and fired nearly 150 rounds of nonlethal rubber bullets, much of it captured by news cameras. Within a week of the incident, Bratton demoted Deputy Chief Caylor, “Lee” Carter, the top-ranking commander at the May 1 melee and reassigned Carter’s second-in-command at the scene, Cmdr. Louis Gray, to the Operations Bureau. Bratton also reassigned 60 officers of Platoon B, an elite violence suppression and crowd control squad from the Metropolitan Division. firstname.lastname@example.org (818)713-3329160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!