LAPD Budget To Be Cut By $100-$150 Million And Reinvested Into Black Communities
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has said the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) can expect a $100-$150 million cut in its budget as part of a series of reforms throughout the city.
His announcement came as protests continue across the entire US and worldwide in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.
During a Wednesday evening press conference, June 3, Garcetti referred to this as an ‘urgent moment’ for the city, saying he is ‘committed to making this moment not just a moment’, and said the funds will instead be used to reinvest in black communities.
The mayor said he would be making commitments to ‘end racism in our city’, saying Los Angeles needs to move beyond police reforms of the past. ‘Prejudice can never be a part of police work,’ he said, as per Deadline.
As part of that commitment, Garcetti said he would be diverting funds that were supposed to go to the police and using them to ‘reinvest in black communities and communities of colour’, adding: ‘We will not be increasing our police budget.’
He went on to announce $250 million in cuts across the board to the proposed budget, saying these funds would allow them to ‘invest in jobs, in education and healing’.
LA Police Commission President Eileen Decker then announced between $100 million and $150 million of these cuts would come from the police department budget.
Garcetti’s announcement comes after it was announced the LAPD would be receiving an increase in its annual budget from $1.189 billion last year to $1.86 billion for the 2020-2021 period. The planned increase allocated a 7% spending increase for the department and nearly $41 million in bonuses.
This sparked outrage among the city’s residents, particularly in recent days when protesters have witnessed police officers using violent tactics in an attempt to silence demonstrators.
Now, the mayor has not only backtracked on these proposed increases, but has vowed to make more cuts to the department, with LA City Council President Nury Martinez making it official on Wednesday, June 3.
Martinez and two other City Council members introduced a motion to cut LAPD funding ‘as we reset our priorities in the wake of the murder of #GeorgeFloyd. This is just one small step. We cannot talk about change, we have to be about change,’ she tweeted.
Garcetti said the funding would be distributed ‘now, not years from now’, while saying he would go into specifics about where the money will go in his Thursday night press conference. However, he did say the department will increase programs that train officers to recognise their own implicit bias in dealing with the public.
His remarks come as hundreds of protesters rallied outside his home in Hancock Park for the second day in a row, with many residents remaining upset by his response to the protests.
The mayor’s comments defending LAPD Chief Michel Moore – ‘When I heard him say what he said, I knew that he did not mean that’ – who compared looters to those officers involved in George Floyd’s killing, alongside his response to the Black Lives Matter protests, sparked calls for Garcetti to step down.
In fact, a petition calling for the mayor’s resignation, which says he ‘has proven himself unfit to lead through these crises and a danger to the people of Los Angeles’, has already received more than 7,000 signatures.
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