After a major backlash, Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti approved a massive defunding of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Trigger Warning: Racism
Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti has promised to disinvest $150 million from the Los Angeles Police Department and instead inject it into communities of color. There is no doubt that our country needs institutional reform, and one way to do that is through investing government funds where they are most needed. The Mayor has been highly praised for his move and protestors hope that other cities will follow in his footsteps. Garcetti announced the decision when he took to the streets with hundreds of demonstrators, The Daily Mail reports. He indicated it was a way to move the rhetoric we have seen over the past few weeks to actionable change.
Good. In order to end police violence, policing has to be smaller, more limited, and less funded by tax payer dollars. https://t.co/4xPc5Ezh7b— ACLU (@ACLU) June 4, 2020
On Thursday, the Mayor stormed the streets of Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles with Black Lives Matter protestors. While there, he announced he would be directing government funding to the tune of $150 million away from the Los Angeles Police Department and into the education and health of black communities. Earlier yesterday, he also took a knee and prayed alongside faith leaders outside the LAPD headquarters at one protest. Later in the day, thousands of protestors took to the Mayor's house in order to hold a demonstration there and place pressure on Garcetti to take action.
The protest organized by Black Lives Matter outside Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's mansion has grown dramatically. pic.twitter.com/AGR5BaWI8Q— Keya Vakil (@keyavakil) June 3, 2020
At a press conference, therefore, he asserted, "[I am] committed to making this moment not just a moment. It is time to move our rhetoric towards action to end racism in our city." In addition to this, the Mayor plans to ensure that all officers are required to report misconduct and intervene when witnessing "displays of excessive force" moving forward. Furthermore, he will establish an LA Department of Civil and Human Rights as well as an Office of Racial Equality. A full copy of the planned motion, which "is a reflection of the government's values, principles, and priorities," was released via Twitter by LA City Council President Nury Martinez. She stated in her tweet, "Today we introduced a motion to cut funding to the LAPD, as we reset our priorities in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter call that we all support to end racism."
"This is just one small step," she duly affirmed. "We cannot talk about change, we have to be about change." Los Angeles, like many of the United States' major cities, is divided across racial lines and has been for decades now. Mayor Garcetti's decision is thus a welcome change. Nonetheless, his announcement came after over 10,000 people were arrested in protests against racism and police brutality. Los Angeles alone has had more than 25 percent of the national arrests. The city is followed by New York, Dallas, and Philadelphia. Many of these arrests were for low-level offenses such as curfew violations and failure to disperse. Hundreds, however, were arrested on charges of burglary and looting. The city and neighboring regions continue to remain under curfew while police cordons supported by the National Guard keep a tight watch on demonstrations.