Protesters Call for Defunding LAPD, Mayor Disagrees


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Black Lives Matter will hold a virtual town hall meeting tonight about defunding the police -- one of several protests or demonstrations being held around Los Angeles County.

The event will be streamed live on the group's Facebook page beginning at 7 p.m.

“We'll have an in-depth conversation on what it means to defund the police and the road to police abolition,'' according to a post on the Black Lives Matter page.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday night he does not support Black Lives Matter-LA's proposal to cut the Los Angeles Police Department's $1.8 billion operating budget by 90%.

The People's Budget proposal for the 2020-21 fiscal year calls for shifting money that had been intended for the LAPD to provide more funding for housing, health care and mental health services. Health care and mental health services are customarily functions of county government.

“I've met with some representatives of Black Lives Matter. I've been in forums with folks who I'm sure have supported that (the People's Budget), but you know, the budget that we put forward in the city of Los Angeles is a detailed budget, not so much an aspirational budget,'' Garcetti said, although he said he appreciated the suggestions from people about the police spending.

Melina Abdullah, a co-founder of BLM-LA, told City News Service she wasn't surprised Garcetti wouldn't support the People's Budget, as Garcetti hasn't cut enough from the LAPD budget, even in his latest proposal.

Abdullah said Garcetti's proposal to cut up to $150 million from the LAPD budget is politically motivated, as he made the announcement only after thousands of people showed up at his residence and at City Hall.

“The only thing he responds to is political calculations,'' Abdullah said. “We have to make clear that his political ambition will not be reached if he doesn't represent the people he claims to represent.''

Garcetti supports shifting money previously allocated to the LAPD and other departments to spend an additional $250 million in predominantly black communities to address health and education issues, but has not provided specific details.


Protests or demonstrations in Los Angeles County today include:

-- A march begins at 9:30 a.m. from Virginia Avenue Park, located at Cloverfield and Pico boulevards, to Santa Monica City Hall at Main Street and Olympic Boulevard;

-- A demonstration for racial justice from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Sunset Boulevard and Lucile Avenue in Silver Lake;

-- A rally at Farnsworth Park, 568 Mount Curve Ave., in Altadena, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

In Orange County, the following events are scheduled:

-- A rally outside Buena Park City Hall, 6650 Beach Blvd., begins at noon;

-- A Justice for Breonna Taylor rally will be held at Crown Valley Parkway and Greenfield Drive in Laguna Niguel, beginning at 3:30 p.m.;

-- A rally at Central Park, 18002 Goldenwest St., in Huntington Beach from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Protests in honor of George Floyd, who died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer who kept his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly 9 minutes, have been held daily for more than a week, including a massive gathering Sunday in Hollywood that attracted an estimated 50,000 people.

On Wednesday, thousands of people gathered outside the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles to call for the removal from office of Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

Protesters claim Lacey, who is black, has not prosecuted enough police officers accused of misconduct.

Photos: Getty Images

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