A Victory For Protesters: LA City Council Motion Seeks Up To $150 Million In LAPD Budget Cuts
Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez, along with Councilmembers Herb Wesson, Curren Price and Monica Rodriguez, introduced a motion today to request up to $150 million in budget cuts for the Los Angeles Police Department.
The motion, seconded by budget committee chair Paul Krekorian, is designed to redirect the money to disadvantaged communities and communities of color.
The proposed cuts would amount to a relatively small fraction of the overall LAPD budget of $3.1 billion, but the motion is still a victory for a coalition of activists, led by Black Lives Matter-LA, who have been pushing the city to defund the police department and adopt a "People's Budget" proposal that invests in mental health care, housing and other social services.
Our only path forward is to dismantle the systems that are designed to harm people of color. A preliminary cut to the LAPD budget will not solve everything, but it’s a step toward to being the city we aspire to be.— Herb J. Wesson, Jr. (@HerbJWesson) June 3, 2020
Martinez issued a statement along with the motion:
"The City of Los Angeles is in the midst of a health and economic pandemic unlike any we have ever seen in our lifetimes. Following the gruesome murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, we are also in the midst of a social and racial justice crisis of epic proportions where the good people of Los Angeles, as well as the nation, are asking their leaders to re-examine our priorities and to commit to taking a giant leap forward in recognizing and ending racism against Black Americans. That commitment must be sustained and ongoing long after the marches and headlines end, but it begins with a fundamental question: ‘Where are we putting our limited dollars?’ Our budget is just one aspect of change. If we are going to finally end the sin of racism and all of its illogical, dehumanizing and sometimes deadly consequences, including in our police department, then we have to provide real solutions for real people who need our assistance. The peaceful marches and demonstrations throughout our city and nation, represent one important step, today’s legislation is another. Ultimately, we cannot talk about change, we have to be about change."
Speaking later on Wednesday, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said he has directed the city's administrative officer to identify $250 million in cuts from "every department, including the police department," to be redirected to health and education in the black community and other communities of color.
READ A COPY OF THE MOTION BELOW:
READ MORE ABOUT THE PUSH FOR A 'PEOPLE'S BUDGET':
6:30 p.m.: This story was updated to include the Police Protective League's response.
7:00 p.m.: This story was updated to include Mayor Garcetti's remarks.