LA City Council Public Safety Committee Toolkit

3:30pm on Wed. March 17

AGENDA: https://lacity.primegov.com/Portal/Meeting?compiledMeetingDocumentFileId=5480 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CALLING IN 

  1. Call 1 669 254 5252 
  2. Use Meeting ID No. 161 586 7607 and then press #
  3. Press # again when prompted for participant ID. 
  4. Once admitted into the meeting, press *9 to request to speak.

BACKGROUND: On March 10, a City Council-commissioned report was released concerning LAPD’s violence during last summer’s uprising. The report is on this Wednesday’s Public Safety Committee’s agenda. 

Written by a team of six LAPD veterans, the report sanitizes much of LAPD’s violence during the protests and recommends increases to police resources and surveillance powers, worst of all the creation of a new LAPD bureau devoted to “public order policing, incident command systems, and liaising with outside agencies.” This type of proposal is the exact opposite of what people took to the streets to demand: defunding LAPD.

TALKING POINTS 

The proposal from the report is the complete opposite of what Angelenos have been demanding. We want to defund the police, not expand the police. 

  • Over 62.4% of Angelenos support proposals to “redirect some money currently going to the police budget to local programs” (Loyola Marymount University). Hundreds of thousands of Angelenos protested to defund the police, not expand the police. 
  • The report proposes the creation of a permanent new LAPD bureau devoted to “public order policing.” This is extremely dangerous and will lead to more surveillance and criminalization of protestors.   
  • The proposal to create a new “Public Order Policing” bureau is a barely veiled effort to revive the Public Disorder Intelligence Division, which was created as a reaction to the Watts Rebellion and infiltrated hundreds of community groups and kept secret dossiers on thousands of activists as well as City Council members, judges, and Mayor Bradley. 
  • The report’s proposals are part of a historical cycle:
    • (1) LAPD brutally attacks Black communities protesting police violence
    • (2) LAPD insiders recommend expanding police resources rather than listening to community demands
    • (3) LAPD repeats its brutality the next time the community protests police violence.  

The inaccuracies and mischaracterizations suggest broader failings in the investigation, and they raise questions about the credibility of the report and motivations of the review team.

  • The report could not determine whether use of batons was inappropriate when it’s clear that LAPD used batons to brutalize people. 
  • The report claims that police did not deploy tear gas, once again contrary to evidence. We all saw police use tear gas – which is banned for use in warfare by the Geneva Convention and ought to be banned in Los Angeles too – in the Fairfax area on May 30 and throughout the uprising.
  • The report says LAPD “shadow teams” infiltrated BLM protests. Rather than criticizing this at all or asking questions (like did these teams ever instigate or entrap anyone, as LAPD has a history of doing), the report proposes more advanced communication/coordination of this, presumably by the new bureau. 

The report ignores City Council’s mandate to investigate specific incidences and erases the voices of the communities endangered by police.

  • This is the first of three reports on LAPD’s violence last summer. The other will be from LAPD and the Police Foundation. And this investigation – the only one not controlled directly by LAPD – almost exclusively spoke with LAPD (over 100 cops, compared to exactly 10 non-police who were handpicked by City Council). If the only report not directly controlled by LAPD almost exclusively interviewed police, where can communities endangered by police ever expect our voices to be heard in the city?
  • The report ignores your motion’s specific instruction to “include information on how LAPD enforced curfews and dispersal orders on unhoused individuals.”  The 101-page report never once uses the terms unhoused, houseless, homeless, house, or home. This defiance of your mandate and erasure of violence against unhoused people is yet more neglect and cruelty by the city toward unhoused communities.  
  • The report also ignores your specific request for “full investigation” of evidence of LAPD shooting a Skid Row resident “in a wheelchair who was not even part of the protests with a rubber bullet, striking him in the head and seriously injuring him” and of “an LAPD cruiser striking a protestor and then fleeing the scene in Pershing Square.”  The report does include a word about those clearly documented examples of LAPD violence. 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

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