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LA Police Union Official: 'Every Dollar You Take Away' Has Consequences

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In the two-and-a-half weeks since police killed George Floyd in Minneapolis, the question of how to change policing has eclipsed almost every other topic of debate.

Some of the loudest voices opposing dramatic change are from police unions. Many argue that these groups often stand in the way of reform.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has said he wants to cut the police budget by as much as $150 million. In a recent speech, he referred to police as "killers." In response, union directors questioned the mayor's mental health.

"Police reform is about transparency and accountability, and police unions resist those important goals," Paul Butler, a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center told NPR. "They fight to keep disciplinary records of cops secret."

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Robert Harris, an official with the L.A.'s police union, the Police Protective League, says that's not true.

"I would disagree that rank-and-file union stand in the way of reform. I think that makes for a great clip. I don't think it's rooted in reality."

Harris also said that de-escalation policies are working.
"I think there should be a national minimum use of force policy standard. I think all agencies should have something that ingrains reverence for life in their officers' minds. I think that they should include policies that address de-escalation techniques, tactics and training. I think training itself needs to be better at a national level for police. And these are all things that Los Angeles has implemented over the last two decades, and it has served us very well. "

LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH HARRIS:

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