LAPD Union Furious Over Garcetti Comments Calling Police 'Killers'

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By KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO

The union that represents LA Protective League is lashing out at Mayor Eric Garcetti's use of the term "killers" to refer to them.

​As Mayor Eric Garcetti seeks to cut up to $150 million from the LAPD's budget, his comments on policing are infuriating off the officers union.

Following days of protests and growing calls to "defund" police, Garcetti pledged to take $250 million dollars out of the LAPD and other city departments to provide services for communities of color.

“I got calls from mayors around the country, some of them saying, ‘I’m so excited,’ and other ones saying: ‘What the hell did you do? Now I gotta shift money,’” Garcetti told political, religious, and community leaders Thursday at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Los Angeles. “That’s exactly the point. It starts someplace, and we say we are going to be who we want to be, or we’re going to continue being the killers that we are.”

A KNX reporter asked a Garcetti spokesman to clarify the "killers" remark. He said a statement is coming soon.

The mayor's office reportedly told the Los Angeles Times it "referred to police agencies across the country."

Garcetti made the comment on the same day he sent a letter to city staff praising officers for doing their jobs "selflessly and honorably."

The union says it sent an "emergency request" to Chief Michel Moore to send a Crisis Response Team to City Hall because "Eric has apparently lost his damn mind." 

Moore declined to comment.

Asked for comment on this, @MayorOfLA spox forwarded letter Garcetti sent to city staff saying: "I’ve met officers everywhere in our city, and I’ve seen them do the job selflessly and honorably." @KNX1070

— Claudia Peschiutta (@ReporterClaudia) June 5, 2020

The LAPPL, however, has taken offense at the idea of pulling funds from the police department. Some community groups outraged at police brutality have been pushing for a nearly wholesale defunding of the LAPD, calling for what would basically amount to a 90% slashing of the agency's $1.8 billion budget.

While the city's proposal is nowhere near as dramatic, it represents a major reversal from Garcetti's position of just a few weeks ago, when he proposed increasing the LAPD budget during the 2020-21 fiscal year.

The idea of cutting funds first surfaced in the form of City Council motion, introduced this week by Council President Nury Martinez and others, calling for a reduction of between $100 million and $150 million in the LAPD's budget.

Garcetti codified that plan hours later, announcing plans to cut $250 million from the citywide budget -- including $150 million from the LAPD -- and redirecting the money toward programs in under-served neighborhoods.

The LAPPL blasted the proposed funding cut, saying the suggestion that "the work police offers perform ... is designed to harm people of color" is divisive and disrespectful. The union has said slashing police funding will only result in a less-safe city."We expressed our genuine disgust and outrage in the murder of George Floyd," according to a union statement earlier this week. `We've advocated for the overhaul of use-of-force training and policies across the state. We have been a willing partner each and every time a city leader has asked us to come to the table and provide solutions. We have proven that we can step up and tackle the challenges this city faces collaboratively."

CNS contributed to this story.