Rappers Snoop Dogg, The Game lead peaceful unity demonstration downtown

Rappers Snoop Dogg and The Game led a peaceful demonstration Friday outside a Los Angeles Police Department recruit graduation in what they called an effort to promote unity in the aftermath of the deadly shootings of police officers in Dallas.

Several dozen people joined the rappers outside police headquarters in downtown Los Angeles where the graduation ceremony was held, featuring Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck as speakers.

After the ceremony, the rappers met with Garcetti and Beck privately.

Garcetti called it an "extraordinarily powerful meeting." Snoop Dogg told reporters at the gathering outside the Police Administration Building that they wanted to promote unity between the community and police, while improving communication.

Snoop Dogg said he wanted to ensure that rookie officers -- like those who graduated today -- "know who they're dealing with."

"A lot of times these officers hit the streets in communities where they have never encountered a gang member or someone who had a different kind of background," he told news radio. "Today it's a bunch of guys up here
who come from those communities who want to show them we're cool, we're peaceful. We're here in love."

He said the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department does a better job of training its deputies for work on the streets, because they generally begin working in the county jail.

By contrast, LAPD officers are often sent into gang-plagued neighborhoods straight out of the academy. "They're scared, they're nervous, and when they encounter someone, they automatically feel they must use violence as opposed to communication," he said.

The Game echoed Snoop Dogg's comments, saying the gathering outside the recruit graduation was a show of unity. The attendees wanted a chance to introduce themselves to the police and bring a "message of love."

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