After cutting the budget in a move to defund the police, Los Angeles saw violent crime skyrocket with the mass exodus of officers. In an effort to curb the destruction, Mayor Eric Garcetti made an unbelievable decision that outraged activists.
The City of Angels quickly became a devil’s playground less than a year after cutting the budget for the Los Angeles Police Department by a devastating $150 million. The move was part of the LA City Council’s effort to defund the police as social justice warriors and Black Lives Matter advocates pressured political officials.
The push was successful, leaving the police department with fewer resources and sparking a surge in law enforcement officer resignations and retirements. While political elitists cheered the initiative and even pushed for further action, the citizens of LA County, especially those in poor, minority neighborhoods, paid the price.
After proposing to cut the LAPD’s budget by roughly $150 million, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti backpedaled from his decision to defund the police and pushed to refund them. According to the Los Angeles Times, Garcetti introduced a budget increase of nearly $50 million more than it previously was.
The proposal was in response to the soaring violent crime and police departures, which have left communities at the mercy of lawbreakers. The new budget would provide the LAPD with $1.76 billion, which is up from the previous $1.7 billion Garcetti had proposed the year prior. The budget would continue to fund about 9,750 police officers, despite the exodus leaving the department with an estimated 9,489, not including spontaneous terminations, resignations, and relocations.
A Garcetti aide said that the decision to keep the LAPD budget mostly the same was in part a response to rising crime. Hours later, Garcetti said the city needs to continue to keep hiring officers to keep up with retirements.
According to LAPD records, the number of shooting victims skyrocketed nearly 80 percent following the budget cuts. Likewise, homicides increased 27.6 percent. Still, this harbinger of what’s to come didn’t stopped activists from fighting back.
Albert Corado, who was running for a seat on the City Council, said he was “angry but not surprised” by the move to refund the police. He was calling for the abolishment of the police for 3 years and wanted to see the LAPD completely dismantled.
Others, however, have a firsthand experience of the consequences of dismantling the police. Cindy Cleghorn, who holds a position on the Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council, still remembers the days when gang members harassed and assaulted residents in broad daylight. She is pushing for more police patrols in her community.
“We have good officers here,” she said. “They just need more support.”
Garcetti has kowtowed to the hair-trigger activists and has seen how their madcap ideas only cause further destruction. Of course, as they have repeatedly admitted, they will never be satisfied until all institutions founded on “systemic racism” are abolished. He now faces the wrath from both sides, having also alienated himself from law-abiding citizens.
Unfortunately, Garcetti’s reluctant aide is too little too late. The damage caused by the previous budget cuts, mass withdrawal of police officers, and aversion of new recruits created by the anti-law enforcement atmosphere is likely irreparable.
Officer-involved shootings are merely a symptom of the real disease. Unless there is a cultural shift in the way we treat one another, the tribalism will continue to spur the violence that places both our law enforcement and fellow citizens in danger.