LA Mayor Eric Garcetti backs violent protests in Portland, Oregon. This is America in 2020. (Op-ed)

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LOS ANGELES, CA- Mayor Eric Garcetti recently backed violent demonstrations that have continued to take place night after night in Portland, Oregon.

On Thursday, in a tweet, Garcetti said:

“Demonstrators for racial justice represent the best of our democratic ideas. The President’s unilateral development of federal forces betrays them and does nothing to keep us safe. L.A. stands with our friends in Portland.”

According to Breitbart, in his tweet, Garcetti was referring to mobs that have violently destructed property, broken into local businesses, looted, set fires, and attacked federal courthouses as well as local police offices. 

Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Portland has been the scene for nightly violent riots night after night, week after week. Protesters have thrown harmful objects such as frozen bottles, glass bottles, rocks, bricks, and fireworks at law enforcement officers.

According to police, some of these protests start out as peaceful with Black Lives Matter activists, but then turn extremely violent as other activists and members of groups such as Antifa join BLM and incite violence and destruction.

Protests have erupted through the streets of Portland for over 50 days and the head of the Portland Police Bureau continues to condemn these nightly protests. According to OPB, protesters lit a fire to the headquarters of the Portland Police Association offices over the weekend.

Following the violent protests, union president, Daryl Turner told a crowd of reporters that their city is under siege by rioters. 

He said:

“Portland, it is time to stand up. It is time to tell your elected officials that the city is under siege because of their inaction. Our elected officials have condoned the destruction and chaos of our city. They have placed their political agendas ahead of all of us.”

At the press event, reporters had called for federal officers to leave Portland, Turner responded by saying:

“That’s why we have a diverse group here. It doesn’t mean we’re on the same page on everything. I believe it needs more coordination. It needs more coordination with the Portland Police Bureau leading the way.”

Many of those invited to speak at the press conference focused on the violence they say has been perpetuated by protesters. The union invited others to come speak out against the protests. Antoinette Edwards, the former director of the Mayor’s Office of Youth Violence Prevention called the current state of the protests “misplaced and misguided.”

In a briefing last week, Garcetti was asked if the new stay at home orders in Los Angeles would apply to protests as well. Garcetti replied that outdoor protests would still be allowed if social distancing measures were taken.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Garcetti has been called “unstable” by various constituents. After the death of George Floyd, protests in LA broke out and the city mobilized. Garcetti said he did not anticipate the burglaries that occurred on the afternoon of May 30th, the same day he ended up requesting the National Guard.

As police and demonstrators clashed in the Fairfax district, Garcetti said he did not plan to request the National Guard. Then, just a few hours later, he did.

In another instance, he unveiled plans to cut the Police Department only to defend its size days prior.  

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Perhaps Garcetti should focus on his own city, and the terrible consequences that defunding his police department will surely have.

Here’s our previous report on that.
As with many other large cities where crime is running out of control and murders are up, the city of Los Angeles is also looking to cave to the mob, seeking to trim $150 million from the police department budget.

In order to do so, two analysts said the department should scale back hiring, according to the Los Angeles TimesThat however is not enough for the mob, let by Black Lives Matter-LA. 

According to Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon Tso and City Administrative Officer Richard Llewellyn, the department would need to reduce its force to under 10,000 officers by the end of next year.

This would be a change in direction for leaders in the city, who have pushed long and hard to keep manpower at or above 10,000 officers.

Such a cutback in the budget would result in a cut in overtime spending for the coming year, at a time when the department is being stretched thin due to ongoing sometimes violent protests in the city.

The analysts said that operational changes would be needed in order to avoid what is referred to as “overtime banking,” where officers work overtime but do not get compensated for those hours until later years. Kind of like pensions—kick the can down the road and let someone else deal with it.

It is believed that layoffs could be avoided, and the numbers would go below 10,000 officers based on attrition. The hope is to divert some of the police department spending and direct the savings into other services. The analysts also suggested cuts to technology, replacement vehicles, and other expense accounts.

Black Lives Matter has been pushing for funding cuts to police departments across the country, cuts that would play into the BLM playbook of fundamentally changing how law enforcement responds to crime, and of course having less police officers to deal with crime on the streets.

In Los Angeles, that group as well as other so-called “grass roots” groups and labor unions have been pushing to have money diverted from policing to other needs. The claim is that certain duties handled by police officers would be better handled by other agencies.

One councilman who represents coastal neighborhoods has expressed his support of halting hiring, which would reduce the size of the department as officers either retire or resign. Mike Bonin said that this move should be in place until the city’s financial crisis is over.

“We are already forcing a hiring freeze on other departments,” Bonin said in a statement. “We cannot keep cutting core city services while growing the department that is the largest segment of the budget.”

The president of the union that represents the rank and file of the LAPD denounced the proposal as “irresponsible.”

Craig Lally said that council members “need to explain to the public how fewer officers, longer emergency response times, and exploding costs are in the best interest of Angelenos.”

Lally said that the proposal “will lead to longer response times to emergencies, eliminate dozens of daily patrol areas across the city and increase the city’s unfunded liability for overtime by over $50,000,000,” he said in a statement.

Councilman Joe Buscaino was also unhappy with the proposed cuts, saying that “real police reform” would be better served by expanding community policing, not slashing overtime.

“Instead of nickel-and-diming public safety to address under-investment into communities of color, we should put on the ballot a serious proposal to raise billions,” said Buscaino, whose district covers Watts and San Pedro.

Black Lives Matter-L.A. and other groups have been trying to convince council members to pass something called the “People’s Budget” [how very Communist sounding of them], which is an alternative plan that would reduce funding for the LAPD by 90%–a much more significant cut than the $150 million suggested by city leaders.

Let’s see…cut the police budget by 90%…what could possibly be the ulterior motive for that? Ah yes, anarchy.

The “People’s Budget” would redirect “savings” from the police budget into housing, healthcare, and other public services, such as mental health counselors and gang intervention specialists.

BLM-LA co-founder Melina Abdullah said earlier this month that “150 million looks big, until you realize it still leaves the LAPD with 51% of the city’s unrestricted revenues.”

“City Council and Mayor Garcetti need to know that we’re fighting for truly transformative change here and won’t be bought off with just this minimal amount of money.”

The BLM activists presented their proposed budget to the 15 council members last Monday during a two-hour session at City Hall. One councilwoman, Nury Martinez who had proposed cutting the budget by $150 million thought the proposal to gut the police budget was the best thing since sliced bread. “This is exactly how you reimagine neighborhoods.”

It’s also how you put neighborhoods in the sewer. For reference, see the autonomous zone of CHAZ or CHOP up in Seattle.

The police union, the Los Angeles Police Protective League is sharply criticizing Martinez over the proposed cuts, notifying voters in the San Fernando Valley district she represents that the proposed reductions would increase police response times to emergencies.  

The proposal to even just cut $150 million represents a sea change since the George Floyd death last month. In April, Garcetti had proposed a 7% increase to the LAPD budget, which was sparked in part by raises and bonuses due the officers, with cuts of 10% being proposed by other city employees.

The opposition to the increase was criticized, however since Floyd’s death, the call to sharply reduce budgets not only in Los Angeles but in large cities across the country has increased.

Like a typical politician, Garcetti stuck his finger in the air, saw which way the political winds were blowing, and joined calls for the $150 million cut. Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore said that any budget increase of the magnitude proposed would likely result in staffing cuts.

So, the liberal, radical approach is—increase in crime, decrease in police. It makes a lot of sense. In LA LA land.


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