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The Los Angeles Police Department announced that murders increased by 250 percent last week in the wake of national unrest following the death of George Floyd, and just as Los Angeles officials announced plans to slash the city’s police budget by up to $150 million.
The LAPD announced that, compared to the previous week, “homicides went up 250% and victims shot went up 56%” from May 31 to June 6. The department also said that the city had seen four separate shootings — one resulting in a homicide — over the last 24 hours.
Last week, Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the city would “identify $250 million in cuts so we can invest in jobs, in health, in education and in healing,” for women and minority communities, and the black community in particular. L.A. Police Commission President Eileen Decker then revealed that $100 million to $150 million would come in reductions to the police budget.
Garcetti said there would be cuts “to every department, including the Police Department, because we all have to be part of this solution together. We all have to step up and say, ‘What can we sacrifice?’” The stance marks a major shift from Garcetti’s position of just a few weeks ago, when he proposed significantly increasing the LAPD budget during the 2020-21 fiscal year from $1.189 billion to $1.86 billion.
The city’s police union, the Los Angeles Police Protective League, responded to the announcement by warning the cuts would not make the city safer.
“What you need to do is ask the citizens of Los Angeles, Do they feel comfortable with cutting $150 million from the police budget?’ I would say, No.’ Can you imagine if that money was cut and the same situation happened in a year or two? I think it would be 10 times worse,” Detective Jamie McBride, a member of union’s board of directors, said in response to the news.