Garcetti: LAPD budget to be cut by up to $150M to fund programs in black communities

Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted:

We have developed long-term relationships between youth and our police department, including Summer Night Lights to keep parks open late in the summer and expanding our Gang Reduction Youth Development programs by 50%. But we must do more.

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.

We will put a moratorium on putting people in the CalGang database. We will also expand the juvenile diversion program to ensure that as few young Angelenos as possible see the criminal justice system.

We will require officers to intervene when they see inappropriate use of force and always report misconduct. We will have more regular departmental training in implicit bias.

We will put a moratorium on putting people in the CalGang database. We will also expand the juvenile diversion program to ensure that as few young Angelenos as possible see the criminal justice system.

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

I stand with Angelenos protesting for racial justice. This moment demands action.

UPI reports amid nationwide protests ignited by the police-involved killing of George Floyd early last week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that up to $150 million will be cut from the L.A. Police Department as part of relocating some $250 million from the city’s budget to fund programs in communities of color.

The United States has been rocked by widespread protests demanding justice and social reforms since Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died May 25 after being pinned to the ground by the knee of a white police officer against his neck.

Garcetti called Floyd’s death during a Wednesday evening press briefing “a modern-day lynching” and the protests representing an “inflection point” as either an opportunity for hope and progress or a flash amid another dark chapter in the country’s history.

The mayor said they can’t afford to waste the opportunity before them and to make sure it is a moment committed to changing “who we are in America when it comes to black America and our criminal justice system.”

Garcetti had originally planned a 7 percent spending increase for the LAPD for next year, bulging its budget to $1.86 billion, but given the situation, he would be diverting money to helping black communities.

“This is bigger than just a budget, but I want you to know we will not be increasing our police budget. How can we at this moment?” he said.

Along with cutting $150 million from the LAPD, Garcetti said his administration will look to move a total of $250 million from departments to reinvest in services, such as health and job programs, in black communities.

He also announced a moratorium on adding people’s names to the CalGang database, which is a statewide system that identifies and tracks alleged gang members.

Officers will also be required to intervene when they see an inappropriate use of force, report misconduct and to complete de-escalation and crowd control training by the end of the year to support the ongoing peaceful protests, he said.

Among the other initiatives announced, Garcetti said he would expand the force’s mental health intervention training program to train a minimum of 900 additional officers by year’s end.

“Black lives matter and the future depends on what we do now,” Garcetti tweeted.