Three Los Angeles City Council members, including Council President Nury Martinez, filed a motion Wednesday directing staff to identify up to $150 million in cuts to the Los Angeles Police Department’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The operating budget of the LAPD is proposed to be nearly $1.86 billion, CBS reports.
“The city of Los Angeles is in the midst of a health and economic pandemic unlike any we have ever seen in our lifetimes,” Martinez said. “Following the gruesome murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, we are also in the midst of a social and racial justice crisis of epic proportions, where the good people of Los Angeles as well as the nation are asking their leaders to re-examine our priorities and to commit to taking a giant leap forward in recognizing and ending racism against black Americans.”
Martinez said the budget reduction is “just one aspect of change,” and that to end racism will take broader and ideological changes.
The motion, which directs staff to provide recommendations on reallocating the funds into “disadvantaged communities and communities of color”, was cosponsored by councilmen Herb Wesson and Curren Price and was seconded by councilman Paul Krekorian.
“Our only path forward is to dismantle the systems that are designed to harm people of color,” Wesson said on Twitter. “A preliminary cut to the LAPD budget will not solve everything, but it’s a step toward to being the city we aspire to be.”
Some members of Black Lives Matter and other anti-police activist groups, in conjunction with continuing protests over police brutality and officer-involved shootings, have been calling for even more sweeping reductions in LAPD funding. As part of their goal of defunding police, they want a 90% cut in the police budget