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City Councilmembers Call To Replace Armed LAPD Officers For Non-Violent Calls

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What if you called for help for a homeless person in distress, a drug overdose, or a neighborhood dispute — and a social worker, mental health professional or outreach worker showed up, instead of a police officer with a gun?

Los Angeles leaders are introducing a proposal to create a “systematic crisis-response plan” that would substitute unarmed service providers for the LAPD in "non-violent, non-criminal situations."

Society has gone "from asking the police to be part of the solution, to being the only solution for problems they should not be called on to solve in the first place.” a draft version of the city council motion said. The measure is slated to be formally introduced Tuesday afternoon"

“In order to properly service the most vulnerable, the City of Los Angeles should look to advance non-law enforcement solutions in circumstances that are non-criminal.”

The motion by Council President Nury Martinez and Councilmembers Herb Wesson, Bob Blumenfield, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Curren Price, calls for city and county departments including the LAPD, LAHSA and the Department of Mental Health to work together to “develop an unarmed model of crisis response that would divert non-violent calls for service ... away from LAPD to the appropriate non-law enforcement agencies.”
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In a tweet announcing the proposal, former Council President Herb Wesson acknowledged the work of Black Lives Matter-LA and other organizations behind the "People’s Budget," who have been calling to defund police and spend city resources on social services and alternative community safety measures instead.

"Black Lives Matter-LA, BLD PWR...with #PeoplesBudgetLA were absolutely right, we need to reimagine public safety in the 21st century," Wesson wrote. "One which reduces the need for armed police presence, especially when the situation does not necessarily require it."

A panel of Peoples Budget leaders presented to council committee chairs at city hall Monday. Advocates for police abolition have long argued that law enforcement mission creep — involving armed officers in situations where people need healthcare, conflict mediation or housing — contributes to police violence and abuses in communities of color.


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