The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Getting More Funding to Do the Same Thing

Jun 7, 2021

A year ago, the massive George Floyd protests in Los Angeles forced public officials to appear to be more caring. They promised to reduce spending on the LAPD budget and “reform” how the police operate. Now, a year later, funding for the LAPD is on the rise. And—despite promises to the contrary—“elite” units of the LAPD carry out random vehicle stops, “stop and frisk in a car,” in many working class neighborhoods, such as South Los Angeles.

That means cops are using minor vehicle infractions, like having tinted windows or a busted taillight, as pretexts to search cars and then invent reasons to arrest people and railroad them to jail. In Los Angeles, police are given wide latitude to designate people as gang members. Prosecutors use crimes in the neighborhood to infer guilt, therefore judge them guilty by association.

So, one year after the George Floyd protests, little has changed. The LAPD is carrying out exactly the same kinds of confrontations that led to the police killing of George Floyd ... and thousands of others.

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s justification for this is the spike in murders over the last year and the big increase in illegal guns on the street. But in a recent interview with the New York Times, even Chief Michael Moore of the LAPD had to admit how horrendous living conditions are for so much of the population.

I won’t argue that there is substandard housing, education, broken families, substance abuse, the systems that are racist and have systemic issues that have gone on for generations,” said LAPD Chief Moore.

Ever since the massive 1992 L.A. rebellion following the Rodney King verdict, Los Angeles mayors, Republican and Democrat alike, have increased, not decreased, the ranks of the police by 30%, while slashing spending for sanitation, street lighting, street repair, capital improvements, parks and recreation, libraries, housing, etc.

The target of policing is to suppress the city’s working class and poor, for whom real wages and living standards have been steadily declining. Unwilling to provide a decent living environment for the population, the authorities and the wealthy have opted to just keep a foot on its neck.