Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti discussed social justice and citywide reforms Friday following the first night without a curfew in four days amid civil unrest over issues of racial justice and police brutality.
The mayor touted the formation of a city Department of Civil and Human Rights to address issues of social and racial justice and introduced Capri Maddox, who will serve as its first executive director.
“We cannot stand by and allow hate and discrimination to literally or figuratively kill our communities,” she said.
The new department is scheduled to begin its work on July 1.
The new municipal agency will include a Civil and Human Rights Commission, which will specifically look into problems such as discrimination, Garcetti said.
The protests over the past week, which at times reached the very door of the mayor’s home, had made an impact on him, he said.
“We are deaf if we do not hear what the protesters on the streets are saying,” Garcetti said.
The annoucement came a day after Garcetti announced plans to reduce the Los Angeles Police Department’s funding by as much as $150 million, while allocating $250 million for health, jobs and education.
He said the move was not intended to harm the LAPD, but to support it by providing badly needed social resources, rather than expecting police officers to fill in as impromptu social workers.
National Guard troops deployed to Los Angeles to aid with unrest have been needed less and less, and they are expected to depart in the coming days, according to Garcetti.
The mayor also highlighted a new ordinance to cap the cost of food delivery apps at 15% of the cost of the meal, intended to help restaurants struggling during the pandemic.
In addition, Garcetti urged the public to mindful of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while demonstrating.
“COVID is still here, and it is still deadly,” he said.
Those who do engage in protest should try to keep social distance and wear face coverings, Garcetti said.
“Please do your part make sure this moment doesn’t bring with it a second wave,” he said.