Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday that he will not increase the L.A. Police Department’s budget, and will lift the citywide curfew Thursday.
“We need to make a firm commitment to change, not just with words but with action,” he said during a news briefing.
Garcetti’s budget for the fiscal year has been facing criticism in recent days, with demands to cut funding to the LAPD. The budget allocates a 7% spending increase for the LAPD and nearly $41 million in bonuses, while the department makes up for nearly 18% of the city’s overall $10.5-billion budget, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The city council met earlier Wednesday to discuss a reduction in funding for the department.
Garcetti said he is committed to finding $250 million in cuts in “every department, including the police department” to reinvest in jobs, health, education and healing focused in L.A.’s black community and other communities of color.
The mayor also announced that together with the L.A. Police Commission, officials will enforce a moratorium on putting people in the CalGang database and will require officers to intervene when they see inappropriate use of force and to always report misconduct.
“We need to make sure that black Americans see an end to the days of murder in broad daylight and of traffic stops simply because of the color of their skin,” the mayor said.
The city will also establish a Department of Civil and Human Rights in coming months, he said.
“This department will be tasked with protecting Angelenos, and anyone who works in or visits the city, from discrimination that denies equal treatment and private employment, housing, education, or commerce by initiating and investigating complaints of discrimination,” Garcetti said.
Eileen Decker, the president of the commission, said it will review and revise the LAPD budget to identify $100 million to $150 million in cuts.
“We will review the process for the use of force to determine if our early warning system can be used better to identify problematic officer behavior as soon as possible,” she added.
The commission will also enhance procedural justice training and expand the mental health intervention training program, Decker said.
“We will further deliver implicit bias update courses to everyone in the department by the end of this year,” she said.
Demonstrators rallied in front of Garcetti’s Hancock Park residence for a second day in a row, as well as in downtown L.A., amid ongoing protests against police violence and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“To those who are protesting, thank you. I am listening,” Garcetti said.
On Tuesday, Garcetti took a knee at an L.A. protest outside police headquarters, and later said he has directed the Los Angeles Police Department to “minimize” its use of rubber bullets when dealing with peaceful protesters.
During a news briefing Tuesday, he called for peace and said he’s spent several days talking to elected officials, community leaders and young people who are “demanding that I, and we, collectively do better.”
A citywide curfew was set to begin at 9 p.m. Wednesday until 5 a.m. Thursday. The mayor announced that the curfew, first instated on Saturday, would be lifted Thursday.
Correction: This post has been updated to correct Decker’s name.