City of LA Will Not Increase Police Budget, Try to Identify $250 Million in Cuts to Invest in Black LA Community

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Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the city will not be increasing its police budget during a briefing Wednesday afternoon.

"We need to make a firm commitment to change," he said. "We need to make sure black Americans see an end to the days of murder in broad daylight and traffic stops simply because of the color of their skin."

He said he has instructed the city council, through the City Administrative Officer, will try to identify $250 million in cuts to every department, including the police department, to invest in jobs, education "and healing" adding the money will be focused on helping the black community.

Later on that week, he pledged to cut $150 million from the LAPD budget. 

After pledging to cut up to $150M from LAPD and reinvest it in services comms of color black, Garcetti said this: https://t.co/Al67gcXj8i Asked to clarify, spox said statement coming. Mayor's staff told @latimes "'killers' remark referred to police agencies across the country."

— Claudia Peschiutta (@ReporterClaudia) June 5, 2020

The movement for racial justice is bigger than a budget, but budgets are statements of our values. We will be working to identify $250 million for further investments in community programs, including cuts to LAPD’s budget.

— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) June 4, 2020

He also announced a new civil and human rights department tasked to protecting Angelenos and an office of racial equity within the department.

Garcetti said the Police Commission will issue a moratorium on putting people into CalGang database, require officers to intervene when they see the inappropriate use of force and call for more anti-bias training.

All LAPD officers will complete de-escalation and crowd control training by the end of the year to better support peaceful protests.

— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) June 4, 2020

We will also expand LAPD’s mental health intervention training program to train a minimum of 900 additional officers this year.

— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) June 4, 2020

There have been a slew of demonstrations and protests and -- and four days of curfews city and countywide - in recent days in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in police custody. All four police officers will now face charges.

As recently as today, the protests in downtown LA, Hollywood and elsewhere were all peaceful.

The reduction in police budget comes numerous calls for a reduction in recent days.

Just today, three City Council members filed a motion to cut the budget by $100 million to $150 million for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

 "We need to rethink what it is that makes people safer and makes communities stronger. We cannot just look at the police in isolation," the motion stated in a City News Service story. "There is no doubt that communities of color suffer disproportionately from negative interactions with the police."

.@MayorOfLA says he's committed to find $250M in cuts ("to every department, including the police department") to invest in jobs/health/ed/healing. @KNX1070

— Claudia Peschiutta (@ReporterClaudia) June 4, 2020

.@MayorOfLA says Police Commission will issue moratorium on putting people into CalGang database, require officers to intervene when they see inappropriate use of force and call for more anti-bias training. "Nobody hates a bad cop more than a good cop." @KNX1070

— Claudia Peschiutta (@ReporterClaudia) June 4, 2020

"We need to make a firm commitment to change," says @MayorOfLA. "We will not be increasing our police budget." Several council members are calling for up $150M in cuts to LAPD budget. Group of community and labor leaders calling for at least $250M in cuts. @KNX1070

— Claudia Peschiutta (@ReporterClaudia) June 4, 2020