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L.A. to Slash Police Budget up to $150 Million in Order to ‘Invest’ in Communities of Color

Demonstrators light up their cell phones as they gather in front of Los Angeles City Hall during a protest in response to the death of George Floyd in Los Angeles, Calif., June 3, 2020. (Patrick T. Fallon/Reuters)

Los Angeles officials announced plans to slash the city’s police budget by up to $150 million in order to reinvest the funding in communities of color, as protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd continue to rock the city.

The city will “identify $250 million in cuts so we can invest in jobs, in health, in education and in healing,” for women and minority communities, and the black community in particular, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday. L.A. Police Commission President Eileen Decker said $100 million to $150 million will be cut from the police budget.

The mayor said cuts would be made “to every department, including the Police Department, because we all have to be part of this solution together. We all have to step up and say, ‘What can we sacrifice?’”

The LAPD had been set to receive a sizeable increase to its $1.189 billion budget, bumping it up to $1.86 billion, but that plan that will now be scrapped. The plan had been met with outrage from residents that increased over the past week as police clashed with protesters.

The mayor proposed several other reforms, including a moratorium on entering individuals into a state database that identifies and tracks alleged gang members. Critics had argued that the database lacked transparency since it is inaccessible to the public.

The city’s police force will also require officers to intervene if they observe an excessive or inappropriate use of force and report the issue, and a Department of Civil and Human Rights will also be established, Garcetti announced.

“We need to make sure that black Americans see an end to the days of murder in broad daylight and of traffic stops simply because of the color of their skin,” Garcetti said.

Protests and rioting began last week and stretched into this week after the death in police custody of George Floyd, a black man who died after white former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes, including after Floyd passed out. Chauvin now faces several charges including second degree murder, and three other involved officers are charged with aiding and abetting murder.

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