Los Angeles Mayor Cuts LAPD Budget; Plans to Use Funds to Reinvest in Communities of Color

During Wednesday evening’s press conference, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke about reforming the Los Angeles Police Department, a plan he called an “urgent moment” for the city and “an inflection point.”

In order to move rhetoric towards action, the city of Los Angeles, Garcetti will not be increasing the police budget. That allocation is pegged at 1.86 billion in the Mayor’s previously proposed budget, but in order to help end racism, Garcetti has decided to withhold $250 million. Instead, the city will “reinvest into black communities and other communities of color.” It’s definitely not a significant difference, LAPD will still receive $1.71 billion. But it’s a start.

Garcetti’s 2020-2021 proposed budget exhibit A shows the following summary of appropriations: Emergency Management $3,396,799; Cannabis Regulation $4,508,693. And what appears as the smallest budget is to Los Angeles’ Civil and Human Rights Commission $417,554; this commission was established to eliminate discrimination through civil and human rights law enforcement and to establish equal opportunity and justice. It looks like some money could go there.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Mayor Garcetti said he is “committed to making this moment not just a moment,” Deadline reported. He will be making commitments to creating racial equality by getting the city to move beyond policy reforms of the past. “Prejudice can never be part of police work…It takes bravery to save lives, too.”

The money will be able to help the city “invest in jobs, in education, and healing.” However, how the money will help healing has yet been determined. The Mayor said he would specify where monies will go in a Thursday night press conference, and that the funding would be distributed, “now, not years from now.”

L.A. Police Commission President Eileen Decker said that $100 million-$150 million of those cuts would come from the police department budget.

According to Deadline, L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez made it official Wednesday by introducing a motion to cut the police department’s funding. “As we reset our priorities in the wake of the murder of #GeorgeFloyd. This is just one small step. We cannot talk about change, we have to be about change,” Martinez tweeted.

The Mayor also declared to prohibit putting people in gang databases and will require police officers to always report “bad actors” and increasing discipline against those who break the rules.

“We need to move toward a guardian-based system by developing long term relationships between our youth and police officers, the Mayor said.

The Mayor’s announcement follows the recent remarks made by L.A. Police Chief Michael Moore on Monday when he compared looters to the officers involved in the death of George Floyd.

Garcetti announced a Civil and Human Rights Commission that will have its first meeting next week, and promised to have the department up and running by July 1. He said the department will consist of an Office of Racial Equity to help the city “apply and equity lens to everything we do.”

“We can’t walk to the promised land in a single day,’ said Garcetti, “but this is a start.”

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