Southern California Muslim leaders and law enforcement officials held a news conference to express solidarity after the deadly shooting in Fort Hood, Texas. A gunman opened fire at the Army post, killing 12 people and injuring more than a dozen others. The Muslim Public Affairs Council condemned the violence and the group said it's contacted federal authorities to learn more about the suspected shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. Los Angeles city and county law enforcement officials have increased patrols and officer presence around area mosques and other religious institutions. KPCC's Brian Watt was at the group's news conference and spoke with All Things Considered host Alex Cohen. (Audio: Extended details on the press conference.)
Law enforcement are taking precautions against a possible backlash from Thursday's violent incident at Fort Hood Army Base in Texas. Sheriff Lee Baca spoke with reporters Thursday at the Islamic Center of Southern California.
"Los Angeles County is a very diverse part of America," said Baca. "We have a significant population here representing all the nations of the world. We also join with the messages that have been put forth now by Muslim-Americans within Los Angeles County who stand with America’s law enforcement, stand with America’s military forces, and stand as Americans in defense of common sense and human decency."
Baca and Acting Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Downing stood alongside leaders from the Islamic center and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Neither the sheriff nor the acting chief said they had any information to suggest that the Ft. Hood incident was part of a larger plot.