LAPD chief on hot seat

May 2, 2007 at 11:54 PM

LOS ANGELES, May 2 (UPI) -- Los Angeles' police chief was on the hot seat Wednesday, the day after his officers used rubber bullets and batons to disperse an immigration reform rally.

Chief William J. Bratton moved to investigate allegations his officers had used excessive force against the protesters in MacArthur Park Tuesday. Officers in riot gear, allegedly provoked by rock- and bottle-throwing, fired dozens of foam rubber bullets and used batons on some rally participants yet made no arrests.

"Two hundred and 40 rounds fired with no arrests is of great concern to me," Bratton said.

Earlier, he said was "disturbed" by what he called "inappropriate" police action and expressed "regret" for what happened.

Immigration reform activist Javier Rodriguez said Bratton should be denied another five-year term, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"In any country other than the U.S., the man at the top would be fired," Rodriguez said.

Police Commission President John Mack said he was unsure what impact the matter would have on the decision to extend Bratton's employment. "That's something to think about," he said.

Just hours before the incident, 13 of the 15 city council members had endorsed Bratton for another term. The police commission takes up issue Tuesday.

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