Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti announced he has responded to Obama’s call for action and signed the Mayor’s Pledge. The mayor updated the community with the current status of safety measures that will take affect immediately. Through the call for justice there have been pockets of violence, but the mayor sees hope for change as the overall goal for protest.
In light of the murder of George Floyd, cities across the nation have grown aware of the viral video of Floyd being violently held down, with a knee digging into his neck, and cutting off his circulation. He died on the street of Minneapolis by police hand. Thousands nationwide began to protest, raising awareness around the injustices that have been growing in the black community for generations. Within those peaceful protest, energy escalated to uncontrollable lengths for some, a certain few reacted in violence and began looting small businesses.
Wednesday, June 3, the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama shared his concerns in a virtual town hall meeting with other political leaders, using his platform to call out all local government. Through the initiatives like My Brother’s Keeper and the 21st Century Policing Task force, the former president announced The Mayor’s Pledge. Geared for every public official within local government to look at their use of police force and pinpoint where they can make immediate change to that department.
Garcetti mentioned he was one of the first to sign the pledge. The mayor is working with city council, to identify 250-million dollars in cuts to reinvest into the black community and create change within the city law enforcement. The mayor is looking to construct a new reform for public safety and opportunities for underserved communities. In coalition with the Los Angeles Police Commission, there are plans to work in have ongoing deescalation training, comprehensive reporting, and other revisions to the police force.
Garcetti stated, “We’ve seen it all with our eyes, the horrific actions that not just one officer took, but four officers took. In a modern-day lynching to take the life of an unarmed black man in America, this is a reflection point for our city and for our country, a moment we will either rise and take this as the opportunity for hope and progress or yet another dark chapter that might have a momentary flash and go away.”
The mayor was joined by Eileen Decker, President of the Los Angeles Police Commission. She spoke of the review and revision in the police department. “Today this body, the Los Angeles Police Commission, is charged with the oversight of the Los Angeles police department, and is establishing an aggressive reform agenda which continues the evolution of our commitment to the 21st Century Policing issues that the mayor just addressed.”
Decker announced the first steps towards continual reform and greater responsibility from the Police Commission. She mentioned a revision to police finances, the commission is looking to identify 100-150 million dollars of cuts from the Los Angeles Police Department budget. Additionally, there will be enhancements in community neighborhood policing. There will be an immediate freeze on new entries to the Cal-Gang data base until the police commission finishes their audit of the entire gang entry and removal system. In addition to outside oversight commissions, there will be a policy within the force for other officers to intervene and report misconduct within their department.
There will be an expansion of the juvenile diversion program to reach all 21 geographic areas and divisions, to lessen the incarceration of the youth in this city. Decker said there will be support from the commission behind meaningful legislation that advocates change. The mayor closed the briefing by encouraging local government across the nation, to embrace the steps taken towards reform and change that will happen under the Los Angeles Police Commission guidance. “These are the foundations from marching forward together and for ensuring that we save lives on the streets of our city and yours as well.”