Los Angeles Mayor Calls for Increase in Police Budget After Slashing It Last Year

Los Angeles Mayor Calls for Increase in Police Budget After Slashing It Last Year
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Activists are furious with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for seeking a 3% increase to the city’s police budget one year after agreeing to make cuts to the department.

From the Guardian:

In the face of intense pressure, LA’s mayor, Eric Garcetti, last June agreed to some reductions in LAPD funding. But this week, Garcetti outraged advocates and civil rights groups with his proposed 2021-22 budget, which seeks to allocate $1.76bn for LAPD, a 3% increase.

The mayor’s office has cited an uptick in homicides and said the city needed to hire more officers to replace retirees. He has called his proposal a “justice budget” with a number of programs meant to address inequality and increased spending on gang intervention officers.

Los Angeles has seen a spike in homicides in the last year, with 2020 reaching levels not seen since the mid-1990’s and 2021 showing no sign of stopping the trend.

But that reality was of no concern to activists, who expressed outrage at the mayor’s request for more funding and officers:

“The mayor says ‘Black Lives Matter’, but not in his own backyard … The city says it’s ‘reimagining public safety’, but to them, that means giving more money to the police.”

Some activists have called for the department to be completely abolished:

Dr Melina Abdullah, a BLM LA co-founder, said it was particularly disheartening to see the mayor increase police funding even after a judge issued a restraining order against the department over its protest response: “They are so terrible, so vicious, so brutal and so violent that we had to get court intervention to say you will not use ‘less lethal weapons’ on righteous protesters.

“We have to be unabashed and unafraid to say, ‘Abolish the police,’” she argued, adding that the first step would be LAPD cuts that remove police from traffic enforcement and calls related to mental health.

The news comes just one day after activists celebrated the conviction of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, the incident that helped spark a year of social justice protests and a “Defund the Police Movement.”


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