Jun 15, 2020
In response to enormous daily protests in the streets, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared he will direct $250 million to youth jobs and some social programs. He and other city council members bragged that part of that money, $100 million to $150 million, will come from the budget of the LAPD. This is supposed to show that Garcetti, who pictures himself as a progressive, is increasing social spending at the expense of the police.
Who is Garcetti kidding? In Garcetti’s budget for the next year, the LAPD was the only department to get an increase, amounting to 7%. All the other departments were slated for big budget cuts, along with mandatory 28 day furloughs for all employees, which amounts to a 10% pay cut.
So, the LAPD’s current budget of more than 1.8 BILLION dollars, which eats up about 54% of the city’s general fund, will grow even more at the expense of everyone else. Meanwhile, for those in the LAPD, there will be no pay cuts.
Garcetti’s policy to boost the police at the expense of everyone else is nothing new. Since the massive 1992 L.A. rebellion following the Rodney King verdict, Los Angeles mayors, Republican and Democrat alike, have increased the ranks of the police by 30%, while slashing spending for sanitation, street lighting, capital improvements, parks and recreation, libraries, etc.
It’s obvious that for L.A. politicians, their primary job is providing more policing. The target of this policing is the city’s working class and poor, for whom real wages and living standard have been steadily declining—so as to better defend the interests of the very wealthy, whom the LAPD swears to “protect and serve.”