KEY POINTS

  • Los Angeles city council leaders are proposing to cut the LAPD's budget by $150 million
  • The funds will be diverted to programs for minorities and black communities in the wake of George Floyd's death
  • Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Commissioner President Eileen Decker agree, while Police Chief Michel Moore said this may affect their operations

Council members in Los Angeles filed a motion Wednesday (June 3) proposing to cut the funds of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for the 2020-2021 fiscal year by $150 million. The money will be diverted to programs catering to minorities and communities of color.

Council President Nury Martinez, along with councilmen Herb Wesson, Curren Price and Paul Krekorian, sponsored the proposal. Martinez said Los Angeles leaders have to re-examine their priorities in the wake of the massive nationwide protests against George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis.

"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, per CBS News. "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."

The councilman said the budget cut is just the start as they have also proposed the reallocation of the funds to disadvantaged communities.

Los Angeles officials seemed to agree as Mayor Eric Garcetti also announced the planned budget cuts. The LAPD is supposed to receive an additional 7% budget increase for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, which starts July 1, bringing its funding to $1.86 billion. However, even Police Commissioner President Eileen Decker agreed the LAPD's budget can lose $100 million to $150 million.

“We need to make a firm commitment to change, not just with words but with action," the mayor said after he directed City Administrative Officer Richard Llewellyn to allocate $250 million for health care, education and jobs within the black communities.

But the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL), the union of LAPD officers, warned budget cuts could be risky. It would be dangerous to the city if police officers are laid off because of a lack of funding.

"It would be a dream come true for gang members and criminals and would expose every single neighborhood in Los Angeles to an unprecedented level of crime," the group said.

1600px-LAPD_on_MVA The Los Angeles Police Department is poised to get a budget cut for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

LAPD Police Chief Michel Moore also issued a statement saying the agency needs “continued funding of essential functions” for the benefit of public safety. He added the loss of $150 million will be significant to the department and will require a reassessment of how the LAPD conducts its “most basic operations.”

The Budget and Finance Committee of the City Council is set to revise the budget in its meeting on June 8, 15, 22 and 29. Garcetti is expected to sign the proposal June 30 before the start of the new fiscal year.