L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti Vetoes Plan to Redistribute ‘Defund the Police’ Funds for Not Being Progressive Enough

In this June 2, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti arrives to appeal to Black Lives Matter protesters in downtown Los Angeles. When Garcetti withdrew his support from District Attorney Jackie Lacey this week and endorsed her opponent, it was another blow to a campaign that has been …
Associated Press

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti vetoed a plan backed by black and Latino members of the City Council to redistribute money cut from the police Tuesday because he said it was too focused on everyday needs and not on the “call of history.”

The plan, which was originally passed 13-2, included funding to trim trees, improve parks, and repair sidewalks in poor neighborhoods. The mayor told the Los Angeles Times that the proposal was too focused on “business as usual.”

In June, as the city was under curfew and the National Guard was on the streets, Garcetti acceded to a demand by Black Lives Matter activists to defund the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) by $150 million, more than 10% of the budget.

The funding was to be redistributed to “communities of color.” The move led to a collapse in morale within the police department, and coincided with a surge in homicides in Los Angeles. Several specialized units within the LAPD were cut.

Now there is a fight over the redistribution plan. Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who represents a large number of black residents, criticized Garcetti’s veto as “progressive gobbledygook” and said he would seek to override the veto.

The Times reported:

“It sounds like from the letter that he is questioning the knowledge of low-income people and their representatives about what they need in the community,” Harris-Dawson said. “He’s saying he knows better.”

Council President Nury Martinez said she was shocked by Garcetti’s veto, saying the spending proposal came after months of discussions with city leaders and community members.

“Residents from Black and brown communities told us they needed more from their city, and this package is one step forward in that process,” said Martinez, who represents the eastern San Fernando Valley. “The City Council will continue to lead and honor our commitments to our communities as we find a path forward.”

The 15-member City Council would require a two-thirds vote, i.e. ten members, to override Garcetti’s rarely-used veto.

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 Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. 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.

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