During a special committee on police reform held Wednesday, the Los Angeles city council approved a motion to create an "unarmed" response unit, ta
During a special committee on police reform held Wednesday, the Los Angeles city council approved a motion to create an “unarmed” response unit, tasked with handling non-violent emergencies.
The motion directs the LAPD to work with other local entities in responding to health and homelessness issues. It also seeks to “develop an unarmed model of crisis response that would divert non-violent calls for service away from LAPD to the appropriate non-law enforcement agencies and related matters,” The Los Angeles Times reported.
The move comes after the council’s budget and finance committee reportedly received pushback for only slashing $133 million from the LAPD’s budget. The annual budget for LA’s police force is over $1.1 billion, according to Forbes.
Councilmember Herb Wesson, who helped introduce the plan, spoke out against critics who felt the council was acting in haste, by initiating such a large cut during a time of civil unrest.
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“I understand … that this makes you feel a little uncomfortable,” he said, according to LAist. “Well, welcome to being black. Welcome to being uncomfortable.”
Some of the residents who called in to voice their opinions during the meeting pushed for even heavier cuts in police funding, the LA Times reported.
“This is not good enough. We need to defund the police,” one caller said. “Defund the police, or you will get voted out,” said another.
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This news comes just two days after reports came out about efforts by the Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter to remove County District Attorney Jackie Lacey. The group claimed that she failed to prosecute police officers who were involved in fatal shootings during her tenure in office.