Cities across the United States are starting to rethink how their communities are policed, in the midst of ongoing protests against police brutality, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month. In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti promised to cut $150 million from the city’s police budget and redirect the funds towards community health and education in communities of color.
Garcetti also promised other reforms to the city’s policing policies, which would include requiring officers to intervene if they see another officer using excessive force, and then to report the incident to supervisors.
The mayor also promised to establish an LA Department of Civil and Human Rights and an Office of Racial Equality, which he says will be up and running by next month.
During a press conference this weekend, Garcetti said that he was “committed to making this moment not just a moment. It is time to move our rhetoric towards action to end racism in our city.”
LA City Council President Nury Martinez announced the motion in a tweet.
Today we intrdcd a motion to cut funding to the LAPD, as we reset our priorities in the wake of the murder of #GeorgeFloyd & the #BlackLivesMatter call that we all support to end racism. This is just one small step. We cannot talk about change, we have to be about change. pic.twitter.com/hR1tBAqwHP
— Nury Martinez (@CD6Nury) June 3, 2020
For this first time ever, drastic systemic changes are being proposed to address the policing problem that has been a part of America’s culture for generations. Some measures are even being proposed at a national level. US lawmakers are now pushing for monumental police reforms that seek to limit legal protections for violent cops, and strip police departments of their military equipment. The measures are being introduced or supported by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
Despite the fact that most of the protests in the country have remained peaceful, videos continue to surface of senseless violence carried out against protesters by police. Since the protests began, thousands of people have been arrested, mostly for being out after curfew or refusing to disperse. Only a small number of the arrests were related to looting or property damage.
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Image Credit: Scott L