Where’s Police Funding Headed?
The Los Angeles City Council proposed legislation that would slash funds for the police department after the death of George Floyd while he was in police custody.
The legislation introduced Wednesday would cut up to $150 million in funds for the Los Angeles Police Department’s budget for 2020-2021, according to a local ABC affiliate.
“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 read. “There is no doubt that communities of color suffer disproportionately from negative interactions with the police.”
The legislation would “reprioritize public safety dollars in order to reinvest funding for other vital services, including those to uplift disenfranchised communities,” a local NBC affiliate reported.
Council President Nury Martinez said Los Angeles was in the midst of a “health and economic pandemic” unlike the city has ever experienced.
“Following the gruesome murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, we are also in the midst of a social and racial justice crisis of epic proportions, where the good people of Los Angeles, as well as the nation, are asking their leaders to reexamine our priorities and to commit to taking a giant leap forward in recognizing and ending racism against black Americans,” Martinez said.
The motion comes amid an open letter from a Black Lives Matter co-founder urging local communities to defund police department budgets. Celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Lizzo, Natalie Portman, Megan Rapinoe, and others signed it.
“Despite continued profiling, harassment, terror and killing of Black communities, local and federal decision-makers continue to invest in the police, which leaves Black people vulnerable and our communities no safer,” the letter read.
Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on Memorial Day while he was in police custody. A now-fired white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd pleaded to be able to breathe.
Chauvin’s charges were increased Wednesday from third-degree murder to second-degree. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison also charged three former Minneapolis police officers who were involved with the arrest, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, with aiding and abetting murder.
The incident has sparked mass protests in nearly every major city in the country, with some cities experiencing rioting, violent lootings, assaults, and property destruction during the demonstrations.
Author: Emma Colton
Source: Washington Examiner: ‘Social and racial justice crisis of epic proportions’: LA City Council introduces bill to slash police budget