City Council, LAPD And Marquis Harris Dawson discussed on Greater LA
Protests over the police killings of black people and police brutality continued over the long holiday weekend. That includes the Black Lives matter Movement, which actually began years ago as an effort to hold officers accountable in the deaths of unarmed people. So the question is how effective has that movement been in eliciting change? If I'd asked you that question six months ago, your answer would probably be not a whole lot. But in this moment in the wake of yet another video showing yet another black person killed by police. It's a different story change appears to be happening. Here to talk through those changes and what the movement continues to call for his B L M l. A cofounder Molina Abdullah. Welcome back to Molina. Thank you So much for having me Steve as a response to the recent protests over The police brutality, police misconduct, the killing of George Floyd and Briana Taylor and many other black people at the hands of law enforcement. Last week, the City Council voted to cut $150 million out of the operating budget. Budget, which by the way is at $1.8 billion. Are you happy by the way with that announcement? Well, of course, we see $150 million cut to a budget where if we account for some additional contributions is really $3.15 billion. It seems to be just a drop in the bucket. And so we'd like to see A much more substantial cut. Of course, we want to recognize that $150 million reduction actually comes as a result of the work of people on the ground. So Mayor Garcetti made this announcement the day after we had about 5000 folks in front of his house and as we were standing in front of City Hall. To the tune of tens of thousands of people. And so we know that organizing winds when people fight we win, And so we absolutely see it is a step forward. But nowhere near enough I want to hone in on the phrase defund the police. You see this over and over again, and people seem to define that. In many different ways. What do you mean? When you call for de funding the police? Do you mean that the LAPD Edie, for example, should just disappear altogether? Well, when we say defund the police what we're recognizing is that policing units and policing generally in this country. Were built in a manner that are fundamentally oppressive. And so here is my professor hat now, right? That when we think about American policing American police sings, origins are actually in chattel slavery and so the people that we now call police the units that we now call police and sheriff's. Were previously known as slave catchers as individuals who were contract ID by the slave holders of this nation in order to literally put the targets on the backs of black people and then return them to their so called owners. And so it's important to recognize that that kind of institution is beyond reform. What we Encourage people to do and encourage communities to do is engaged in a fundamental reimagining of what public safety means. So we never say defund the police on its own. We also say, reimagine public safety. We know that by investing in meeting the universal needs of people by investing in Built environments like parks and libraries by investing and really kind of restorative and transformative justice practices like healing circles and like intervention and prevention work. We actually do a much more effective job in preventing and reducing crime, then does a traditional approach to police that on Lee looks at punishment. Andi is really a response rather than a prevention, our intervention, But people will tell you there are there are folks of all stripes, all walks of life of all colors. Who are capable of doing bad things, and they want protection they want. They want to make sure that that the public is safe, and you say public safety mechanisms would be there in social and more social settings, not in a criminal justice setting. But how do you jibe? The two when people say I want safety? I want to make sure that if if someone wants to do something bad to me that that is prevented. Well, One of the things that were really encouraged by is actually two motions that were introduced to City Council last week, which in our view were much more significant than $150 million reduction. The first was introduced by City Council member and former City Council president Herb Wesson, along with Current city Council President Nori Martinez and Council member Marquis Harris Dawson. That motion says that for nonviolent calls, police should not be the one to be dispatched right fora calls like calls for mental health services, and I'm thinking about Grace Sharia Mac was murdered in 2018 inside the Crenshaw Baldwin Hills Mall after he was having a mental health challenge and asked for help. And rather than calling mental health workers. LAPD came and murdered him right in the midst of a mall with onlookers, right I think about what would have happened Had Herb Weston's motion been in place, and we had dispatched mental health workers instead of police. So that motion just passed unanimously during last week's City Council meeting, and I think that's a shift. I think that Marquis Harris Dawson's motion that says police don't need to be the one to respond to Traffic questions right. So if there is a collision, we can send out non law enforcement to take those measurements and statements. We don't need police with guns to respond to these kinds of calls. Finally, the data just was recently released around 911 calls that found almost 90% of those calls were calls for Nonviolence emergencies, So they were things like my neighbor is playing their music too loud or someone's parked in my driveway, and we know that when police air dispatched for those kinds of calls Especially if the person that I cz having the police called on them is black. Those can quickly escalate and bring the deaths of our people.