Progressives have made calls to "defund the police" and "abolish the police" in cities across the United States for months, including in Los Angeles. However, cities have been forced to provide additional funding for their police departments after violent crimes have spiked, including Los Angeles.
In the first two months of 2021, Los Angeles Police Department officers have fielded 88% more reports of shots fired than the same time period in 2020. Gunshot victims in L.A. are up 141% versus last year, and homicides are up 39%, according to Crosstown, a nonprofit news organization based out of the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. There were 15 hate crimes reported in Los Angeles in 2020, up from seven reported in 2019, according to the Los Angeles Police Commission.
To combat the wave of violent crime, the California city has voted on Thursday to increase police funding. The Los Angeles County Metro, the area's public transportation agency, voted to increase police funding by $36 million. The additional funding will go to the Los Angeles Police Department, Long Beach Police Department, and Los Angeles Sherriff's Department. Law enforcement had originally asked for $111 million in more funding.
The extra funding passed with a unanimous 12-0 vote from the Metro Board of Directors, including a "yea" from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, according to the New York Post.
In June, Garcetti said he was committed to not increasing the police budget. "We will not be increasing our police budget," the Democratic mayor proclaimed, adding that the city would be "reinvesting in black communities and communities of color."
The Los Angeles City Council voted last July to slash $150 million from the LAPD budget.
If this sounds familiar, it is because Minneapolis and Portland were also forced to increase funding in police after pledging to defund the police.
In June, Minneapolis City Council vowed to "dismantle" the city's police department. After crime skyrocketed in Minneapolis, the City Council voted unanimously to approve $6.4 million in additional funding to the Minneapolis Police Department.
Portland reduced its police budget by nearly $16 million in 2020, but then crime surged. Earlier this month, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) called for more than $2 million in funding for the Portland Police Department.
There were so many shootings and gun violence that Portland was forced to reinstate the city's gun violence task force in March after disbanding the Gun Violence Reduction Team (GVRT) only months earlier.
"More people died of gunfire last year in Portland — 40 — than the entire tally of homicides the previous year. The number of shootings — 900 — was nearly 2 1/2 times higher than the year before," the Associated Press reported.