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Morning Briefing: LA City Councilmembers Take Swift Action On Police

Black Lives Matter-LA cofounder Melina Abdullah. (Screen grab from Channel 35)
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In the wake of Black Lives Matter-L.A.'s presentation on Monday to the L.A. City Council, five councilmembers introduced a motion that would replace LAPD officers with unarmed first responders for "non-violent, non-criminal situations."

Written by Council President Nury Martinez and councilmembers Herb Wesson, Bob Blumenfield, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Curren Price, the motion would deploy social workers and mental health experts to incidents such as psychiatric crises, substance abuse-related scenarios and neighbor disputes.

In response, BLM-L.A. called the motion a “courageous stance,” tweeting:

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“No police dispatched for non-violent calls also makes a lot of common sense as it clears the way for those better equipped to handle such situations to do so. Let's do it!”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, June 17

As fire season begins, Jacob Margolis examines how standard firefighting and evacuation practices will change now that coronavirus social distancing and safety must be taken into account.

In one of the first pilot projects of its kind, a solar panel company will get hundreds of its customers to supply energy to Southern California Edison at peak demand times, reports Sharon McNary. It’s a test to demonstrate whether widespread use of rooftop solar systems can replace the local gas-powered plants that have to provide extra power on the hottest days.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

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Money Matters: Unemployment has swept Los Angeles as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but joblessness has climbed much higher in parts of L.A. with large Black populations. The question of whether L.A.’s 100,000 vacant properties should be taxed could be on the November ballot in the City of L.A.

L.A. Protests: Black Lives Matter-L.A. co-founder Melina Abdullah led a panel of community leaders who presented a plan to City Council to invest General Fund money in social services. A rally organized by labor groups to push for reinstating the county's mask requirement got drowned out by counter-protesters.

Policing The Police: A City Council motion calls for a plan to replace LAPD officers with more appropriately-trained workers to deal with non-violent, non-criminal calls. President Trump signed an executive order banning the use of chokeholds by police, except when officers believe their life is in jeopardy. The L.A. Sheriff's Department will start deploying body cameras on some deputies later this year.

Coronavirus Fallout: Local public health officers are being second-guessed, harassed and threatened by residents and leaders, angry about pandemic shutdowns. The Center Theatre Group — which runs the Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and the Kirk Douglas Theatre — will remain closed until April. There are 1,337 new cases of coronavirus in L.A. County, and the region is approaching 3,000 total deaths.

Reopening L.A.: Given how fast L.A. County moved to reopen dine-in restaurant service, the widespread noncompliance we're seeing with safety guidelines shouldn't be surprising.

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Graffiti begins to fade on the side of a building in downtown L.A.

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