People’s Budget LA: Their Police Have No Place on Our Buses and Trains

SUMMARY

People’s Budget LA, a coalition of activist groups led by Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles (BLM-LA), is encouraged by the recent vote of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors, and specifically Directors Bonin, Garcetti, Hahn, Dupont-Walker, and Solis, for their their recent decision to shift resources away from armed law enforcement and towards a new vision of public safety at Metro facilities and on Metro vehicles. We have no doubt that the move is, in large part, a response to the calls of the people to #DefundThePolice and #ReimagePublicSafety that are permeating the public square.

Moving to place unarmed transit ambassadors in these spaces—staff who are trained in providing outreach and support instead of criminalizing poverty—is a step in the right direction. We look forward to working with elected leaders who are willing to boldly reimagine what our public transportation infrastructure, and all of our shared public spaces, can and should look like without the presence of armed officers. 

People’s Budget LA will continue to fight for budgets that prioritize the needs of the community over continued criminalization and systemic oppression in both the City and County of Los Angeles, and across all of their constituent agencies and authorities.

LOS ANGELES — A coalition of activists organizing under the name People’s Budget LA have recognized the Metro Board’s near unanimous vote to begin shifting some of the nearly $160M in annual policing contracts away from armed responses into community-centered approaches to public safety in the nation’s third largest public transportation system.

“It is well past time for Mayor Garcetti and the Metro Directors to remove armed officers from our buses, trains, and Metro stations. Not being able to prove that you paid your fare should never cost a person their life, as was the Long Beach Police Department’s excuse in the horrific killing of César Rodríguez,” said Melina Abdullah, one of the leaders of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles. “Police officers on our trains and buses do not make us safer. They continually criminalize and intimidate Black and Brown folks for simply existing in these public spaces.”

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