RAFU STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Protesters took to Southland streets again Wednesday to decry police brutality and condemn the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and Los Angeles County imposed another curfew, but pushed it back by three hours.
It was the fourth straight day the county has imposed a curfew, but Wednesday night’s restrictions weren’t scheduled to take effect until 9 p.m., and will expire at 5 a.m. Thursday. The previous countywide curfews lasted from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Most cities in the area will adhere to the county’s curfew hours, but Culver City will impose a curfew at 6 p.m., while Beverly Hills imposed one at 1 p.m. in the business district, and it will expand citywide at 4 p.m.
On Tuesday, protests — all of them peaceful — took place in downtown Los Angeles, near City Hall, in Hollywood and outside Mayor Eric Garcetti’s official residence in Hancock Park.
Hours into Tuesday’s peaceful protests, the LAPD tweeted, “This afternoon we saw the best of Los Angeles. Thousands of demonstrators marched in solidarity. We will continue to facilitate everyone’s First Amendment right to assemble peacefully… we will continue to listen, learn, and grow.”
In Little Tokyo there were no new reported incidents of looting or property damage, according to Michael James, captain of the Little Tokyo Business Improvement District. Large groups of peaceful protesters continued to assemble and move through the neighborhood.
A tagger was caught in Frances Hashimoto Plaza and released. LT BID also reported that small groups of men were seen possibly looking for looting opportunities, but left the area.
Three City Council members filed a motion on Wednesday to cut the Los Angeles Police Department’s budget by $100 million to $150 million for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The motion was filed by Council President Nury Martinez as well as Councilmembers Herb Wesson and Curren Price.
“We need to rethink what it is that makes people safer and makes communities stronger. We cannot just look at the police in isolation,” the motion stated. “There is no doubt that communities of color suffer disproportionately from negative interactions with the police.”
The operating budget of the LAPD is proposed to be nearly $1.86 billion, up about $122 million from last year, but advocates have said, especially due to the financial reckoning of COVID-19, enhancing police spending is not the right move at this time.
“The city of Los Angeles is in the midst of a health and economic pandemic unlike any we have ever seen in our lifetimes,” Martinez said. “Following the gruesome murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, we are also in the midst of a social and racial justice crisis of epic proportions, where the good people of Los Angeles as well as the nation are asking their leaders to re-examine our priorities and to commit to taking a giant leap forward in recognizing and ending racism against black Americans.”
Martinez said the budget reduction is “just one aspect of change,” and that to end racism will take broader and ideological changes.
“Ultimately, we cannot talk about change, we have to be about change,” the council president said.
The motion also instructs the city administrative officer and chief legislative analyst to provide recommendations on reallocating the funds into “disadvantaged communities and communities of color.”
Photos by MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo