Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council

Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council

From the Mayor: Steps forward for racial justice

Posted on 06/04/20

Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council

This is an incredibly difficult time for our city and our country. In the midst of a pandemic that has taken lives and livelihoods, we saw yet another Black American murdered in broad daylight.

This is a time of tremendous sorrow and of righteous anger.

It’s also an inflection point — a moment that we must seize to take action to end the scourge of racism.

We must carry forward the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others to ensure their legacy becomes the change our country so desperately needs. And we must take action to redefine public safety so that it recognizes the humanity and dignity of every American.

I vow to continue, and redouble, my work to tackle and correct the inequities born of structural racism. Like everyone who is peacefully demonstrating here in Los Angeles and across the country, I am eager for change — and our city government will change to deliver progress and advance racial justice.

Our next steps
The movement for racial justice is bigger than a budget, but budgets are statements of our values. That’s why we will be working to identify $250 million for further investments in community programs, including cuts to LAPD’s budget.

That’s just one of the many new steps forward we are taking:

  • We will put a moratorium on putting people in the CalGang database. We will also expand the juvenile diversion program to ensure that as few young Angelenos as possible see the criminal justice system.
  • We will require officers to intervene when they see inappropriate use of force and always report misconduct. We will have more regular departmental training in implicit bias.
  • We will expand our Community Safety Partnership sites and program throughout the city to build stronger relationships between officers and the Angelenos they serve.
  • All LAPD officers will complete de-escalation and crowd control training by the end of the year to better support peaceful protests.
  • We will also expand LAPD’s mental health intervention training program to train a minimum of 900 additional officers this year. 
  • The Police Commission will review our early warning system to better identify problematic behavior and intervene earlier with officers who have exhibited a pattern of high risk behavior.
  • We will convene our first meeting of the Civil and Human Rights Commission late next week, and set up the Civil and Human Rights Department and its office of Racial Equity months ahead of schedule. 
These new steps build on the reforms we’ve already put in place at our police department in recent years:
  • Becoming the first big city in America to put body cameras on every officer and release videos to the public.
  • Hiring the most diverse and representative police department of any major city in the United States.
  • Mandating training in implicit bias for every officer, because racism and prejudice must never be part of police work.
  • Instituting training in de-escalation for every officer, because not every encounter or confrontation should result in a use of force.
  • We have developed long-term relationships between youth and our police department, including Summer Night Lights to keep parks open late in the summer and expanding our Gang Reduction Youth Development programs by 50%.
Free community college, raising the minimum wage, housing the homeless, helping reduce prison populations, keeping up our reentry programs, and expanding job training and placement — we must double down on our work in these areas as well, and we will.

We have work to do to build trust between officers and communities — and to help businesses damaged and looted to recover.

Our officers put themselves on the line each day to answer calls for help whenever and wherever they’re needed and solve crimes. The vast majority do this job selflessly and with the honor and dignity befitting the badge. We can acknowledge this, while still understanding it is not what millions of people in our city and country are feeling or seeing right now.

The protests speak to Angelenos’ determined drive for progress in our policing, policies and laws.

Every step we take forward to protect people’s rights, to enact smart and overdue reforms, to undo structural racism — all of it is meant to build a more fair, equal, and just Los Angeles.

Black lives matter, and the future depends on what we do now.

Eric Garcetti
Your Mayor

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