The president of Los Angeles's city council introduced a motion Wednesday that would direct officials to identify millions of dollars' worth of funding cuts to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) following criticism of the department's treatment of protesters.
Councilwoman Nury Martinez (D) said in a statement released on Twitter that the move was about resetting the city's priorities following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody last week. Video of Floyd's arrest and death sparked protests around the country, including in Los Angeles.
"Today we [introduced] a motion to cut funding to the LAPD, as we reset our priorities in the wake of the murder of #GeorgeFloyd & the #BlackLivesMatter call that we all support to end racism. This is just one small step. We cannot talk about change, we have to be about change," Martinez tweeted.
Today we intrdcd a motion to cut funding to the LAPD, as we reset our priorities in the wake of the murder of #GeorgeFloyd & the #BlackLivesMatter call that we all support to end racism. This is just one small step. We cannot talk about change, we have to be about change. pic.twitter.com/hR1tBAqwHP— Nury Martinez (@CD6Nury) June 3, 2020
If passed, Martinez's motion would direct officials to identify between $100 million and $150 million in cuts that could be made to the department's funding, a small chunk of the department's yearly $1.18 billion budget.
“If we are going to finally end the sin of racism and all of its illogical, dehumanizing and sometimes deadly consequences, including in our police department, then we have to provide real solutions for real people who need our assistance," Martinez said in a statement obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
The motion comes as the LAPD has faced a wave of criticism for its response to protests related to Floyd's death, and in particular for statements made by LAPD Chief Michel Moore referring to the demonstrations in the city as "criminal acts."
"We didn't have protests last night. We had criminal acts. We didn't have people mourning the death of this man, George Floyd. We had people capitalizing. His death is on their hands, as much as it is those officers,” he said earlier this week.
That outrage boiled over Tuesday during a Zoom meeting of the LAPD commission, which was inundated by calls from angry city residents.
“Mikey, I know you said you didn’t mean protesters are as much to blame for George Floyd’s murders as his murderers,” one caller said, addressing Moore. “That’s a lie, it is what you meant. We all know it.”