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In a moment of national reckoning prompted by the killing of George Floyd and street protests against police brutality, Los Angeles police officers rallied outside downtown headquarters on Saturday.

Calls to defund the police have been swiftly answered by the City Council, which slashed the LAPD budget by $150 million, saying the money will be channeled into services for Black, Latino and disenfranchised communities.

Officers say they are demoralized by the cuts, which will deliver a huge hit to overtime pay and hiring in the 10,000-member department, when they have worked hard to build ties with community members and are willing to risk their lives to keep people safe.

“What I’m concerned about is that the neighborhoods that will pay the worst price are the most economically depressed neighborhoods,” said Rusty Redican, an officer with the beach patrol in West L.A. and an 18-year LAPD veteran. “Ninety-five percent of the people in South L.A. are great people who just want to live their lives and not be preyed on by gang members and drug dealers.”

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