Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti denied Monday that cutting funds to the Los Angeles Police Department had led to a spike in homicides.
Earlier Monday, Breitbart News and other outlets reported that L.A. had reached 300 homicides thus far in 2020, the highest since 2009.
Earlier this year, Garcetti announced cuts of $150 million to the police. The homicide division is one that has suffered cuts as a result.
Garcetti defended his decision in response to a question from Breitbart News at a press briefing Monday evening.
In other cities, he said, which had not cut funding to police, “we actually see higher numbers of homicides,” he said. “We have made cuts in all of our departments,” he added, arguing that police had endured lower cuts than other departments, proportionally.
Garcetti also said that Calfornia’s decision to test coronavirus vaccines independently would not slow delivery of vaccines to Los Angeles residents, but would accelerate it, though he did not explain how.
President Donald Trump recently said that New York State would receive vaccines later than other states because of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s insistence on testing the vaccines independently, which meant the first doses would have to be sent elsewhere.
Garcetti discussed the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases in the city, and announced new restrictions prior to Thanksgiving, including a requirement for all visitors arriving in the city by air or by train to fill out an online form acknowledging the state’s quarantine recommendations.
“If there’s any way for you to avoid travel, cancel those plans,” Garcetti said.
The mayor also reiterated some of Los Angeles County’s restrictions on restaurants — which critics have questioned:
While restaurants have accounted for 3.1% of the known "outbreak" locations in L.A. County, without indoor/outdoor being specified, you know what has doubled them at 7.27%? Government locations! Including several L.A. County entities. Again, this is LA County's own data. pic.twitter.com/QcVNxDLsNy
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 23, 2020
Garcetti noted that such decisions were “not always popular,” but they were also the “easiest,” because “years from now, I will pass by someone who is still alive” as a result.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.