LA City Council Advances Police Reform Measures, Seeks to Support Families, Aid Homeless

 

Tuesday, June 30

  • On June 30, the City Council unanimously approved Councilman Curren Price’s motion that would make it illegal to call 911 to make a false or frivolous report based on racial bias. While it is illegal to make a false 911 report, the current law does not address 911 calls used in a racially motivated way. The motion asks for the City Attorney and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to report back on options that could include criminal penalties, as well as giving the victims the right to seek damages and bring about private civil actions against the perpetrator. 
  • Also on Tuesday, the City Council backed a motion that Councilman Price co-presented alongside LA City Council President Nury Martinez, and Councilmembers Herb Wesson and Marqueece Harris-Dawson that would require unarmed, non-law enforcement agencies to respond to non-violent situations as an alternative to dispatching a police officer. The motion calls for the development of a crisis response system made up of service providers, including medical professionals, mental health workers, homelessness experts and other professional social workers, with specialized training to replace police in non-violent, non-emergency crises. 
  • Councilmembers Price, Wesson, Harris-Dawson and Mike Bonin introduced a motion that would remove the LAPD from enforcing traffic laws and moving violations. The legislation would direct the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and other city staff to consult with community stakeholders and suggest alternative methods of enforcing traffic laws, such as speeding, illegal turns, and other vehicle code violations, that do not require armed officers. The report will look at national and international best practices, and consider transferring enforcement authority from the LAPD to LADOT, as well as using automated equipment.
  • The Los Angeles City Council instructed the Economic & Workforce Development Department (EWDD) and the Personnel Department to work with the LA County Department of Public Health to solicit input from community groups and nonprofits to help with a hiring plan for Community Care Corps, to fill gaps in our healthcare system, as well as provide meaningful employment to residents who need it as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Additionally, the City Council approved a motion by Councilmember Price to request the Office of the Inspector General, with assistance from the LAPD and the Department of Civil and Human Rights to report with a thorough review on the tactics used by the LAPD on Saturday, May 30, 2020 in the vicinity of the Fairfax District during peaceful protests and the chain of events that led to the decision to have LAPD officers engage with protesters. 
  • In a similar motion, the City Council also called for an investigation on the use of rubber bullets and other types of riot control ammunition into crowds of peaceful protests, as well as how LAPD dealt with individuals arrested for failing to disperse when ordered to do so after a curfew was put into place throughout the county. Finally, the motion instructs Gerald Chaleff, the author of the LAPD’s review of the 2007 May Day incident in MacArthur Park, to take the lead of the review of LAPD actions during recent protests.


Wednesday, July 1

  • On July 1, the LA City Council approved Councilman Price’s proposed plan to reduce $150 million from the LAPD 2020-2021 budget and reinvest $100 million of those dollars into communities of color for youth work programs, local hire efforts, and other social programming. Councilmember Price’s motion modifies Mayor Eric Garcetti’s $10.5 billion original proposed budget and reallocates $90 million into communities of color, re-envisioning public safety, as well as the City’s targeted local hire program. In addition, it sets aside $10 million for the EWDD Summer Youth Employment and Workforce Development benefiting disadvantaged communities. 
  • Additionally, the Los Angeles City Council approved a series of motions to help support families during the COVID-19 pandemic. One motion instructs the Department of Recreation and Parks to report back on using some of their facilities as child care centers as the economy reopens. Additionally, a motion seconded by Councilmember Price and authored by Council President Martinez, provides over $500,000 in COVID-19 Federal relief funding to the Department of Recreation and Parks for Summer Play LA. This funding will help provide summer programming for 2,000 children as the economy begins to open and parents return back to work. 
  • Further, the LA City Council approved a motion by Council President Martinez and seconded by Councilmember Price to grant $100 million from COVID-19 Federal relief funding to be used to help establish the COVID-19 Homelessness Roadmap, which will help create 6,000 new beds in each council district. Additionally, $25 million of the $100 million will be used to help order shelter, hygiene trailers and other supplies. 
  • The City Council instructed the Department of Transportation to continue, through the month of July, to suspend the enforcement of residential street sweeping, peak/rush hour and anti-gridlock zone restrictions, abandoned vehicles (72-hour rule) and expired registrations. The motion further instructs the Department to waive all parking citations issued in the month of July with respect to the categories above.
  • Councilmember Price introduced a motion instructing the LAPD to request the California Attorney General’s Office to conduct an independent review of the fatal shooting of Daniel Hernandez by an LAPD Officer in the Newton Division on April 22, 2020. LAPD encountered Hernandez when reporting to a traffic collision back in April. Reports state that he had a knife when officers arrived on scene. The shooting happened when Hernandez approached law enforcement with a knife after he was asked to place it on the ground.
  • Councilmember Price introduced a motion that instructs the Personnel Department to halt consideration of a Police Officer candidate’s cannabis use when conducting and evaluating a background investigation, and that the Personnel Department report to Council in 30 days on the status of this matter. This is in response to the LAPD application website stating that the use of illegal drugs and abuse of alcohol or prescription medications are potentially disqualifying factors for a candidate; however, it makes no mention of cannabis use. Considering that adult cannabis use has been legal for several years, and the City’s regulatory authority over cannabis, there is an inconsistency to consider cannabis use as a negative factor when assessing a Police Officer candidate. 
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