L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti to Cut $150 Million from Police; ‘Reinvest’ in ‘Communities of Color’

Eric Garcetti takes a knee (Richard Vogel / Associated Press)
Richard Vogel / Associated Press

LOS ANGELES, California — Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday evening that the City of Los Angeles would cut up to $150 million from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and “reinvest” the funds in the local black community.

“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?” Garcetti asked.

Instead, Garcetti said, he had worked with the city council and community leaders to reach an agreement “to commit to reinvesting in black communities, and communities of color; in those places left behind.”

He recounted statistics demonstrating racial inequality, and concluded: “I have instructed and committed … that our city … identify $250 million in cuts, so we could invest in jobs, in health, in education, and in healing. And that those dollars need to be focused on our black community here in Los Angeles, as well as communities of color, and women, and people who have been left behind, for too long.”

That would require cuts to every department, including the police, he said.

“We all have to step up and say: What can we sacrifice?”

Racial justice, he said, was “worth sacrificing for.”

Eileen Decker, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, spoke during Garcetti’s presentation, and estimated the cuts to policing at $100 million to $150 million.

In his speech, Garcetti also implicitly criticized President Donald Trump, saying that leaders in Washington wanted “to go back to 20th or 19th century policing, to get tough, ‘to dominate,’ to not worry about people’s heads, to dehumanize them as you put them into squad cars.”

He concluded: “This not only does not save lives, it costs lives.”

In contrast, Garcetti, praised and thanked former President Barack Obama for his advocacy for police reform, referring to Obama’s speech to his My Brother’s Keeper organization earlier in the day.

Garcetti referred to the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last week, as a “modern-day lynching,” as he had on Tuesday.

He spoke as protests moved through downtown Los Angeles, largely peacefully, though traffic was disrupted and many businesses remained boarded up after the looting and rioting that took place over the weekend.

Protests targeted District Attorney Jackie Lacey, and signs included “DEFUND LAPD” and “COPS R NOT ESSENTIAL.”

The city’s curfew, which had been 6:00 p.m. for the past two days, was moved to 9:00 p.m.

There was some drama in Newport Beach, in Orange County, where a driver drove through a group of protesters. There were no injuries, and the driver was later arrested.

In San Bernardino, an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale was felt.

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 new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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