After days of protests against police violence, L.A. city council president Nury Martinez introduced a motion today instructing the City Administrative Officer and Chief Legislative Analyst to identify at least $100-$150 million in cuts to the LAPD’s budget.
The motion reads like a powerful manifesto: “We need a vision for our city that says ‘there is going to be justice.’ American society is founded on a racial hierarchy, one that is born out of slavery, followed by Jim Crow segregation and corporate abuse of labor. As such, police departments are asked to enforce a system of laws that are designed to reinforce and maintain economic and racial inequality.”
It’s a move that some activists have been pushing for since late May. And at more than $1.8 billion, the LAPD gets a disproportionately large slice of the budget pie. Mayor Eric Garcetti was proposing an increase of $120 million to the police department just hours earlier. While city employees’ salaries were to be slashed in Garcetti’s budget, officers were expecting a bump in pay.
Critics point out that the new adjustment is the equivalent of less than a ten percent cut and demand more structural changes. Their anger was evident yesterday during the virtual meeting of the L.A. Police Commission. Many expressed outrage over the treatment of protesters. One commenter said, “I have never felt less safe exercising my right to protest peacefully than I did when the police showed up.
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