Protesters want to 'defund the LAPD' and other police agencies after George Floyd's death

Leanne Suter Image
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Protesters want to 'defund the LAPD' after George Floyd's death
Protesters are pushing to "defund the police" over the death of George Floyd and other black Americans killed by law enforcement.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Protesters in Southern California and across the U.S. are pushing to "defund the police" over the death of George Floyd and other black Americans killed by law enforcement. Their chant has become rallying cry.

In Washington, D.C., "DEFUND THE POLICE" was painted in massive letters on a street near the White House days after district crews painted a similar "BLACK LIVES MATTER" mural on a street just blocks away.

The slogan - which was considered a radical idea just a few years ago -- means different things to different people. Now it is a call that has been gaining widespread support.

Some want to fully eliminate certain law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department, while others want to divest from the way departments typically operate. Most say it's a push to enact substantive reform.

'Defund the police:' Los Angeles teachers union supports movement to eliminate LAUSD police

A major push to "defund the police" is getting support from leaders of United Teachers Los Angeles.

"I think what people are saying is they want three things to change," Connie Rice, a prominent civil rights attorney, said in an interview with ABC7. "They don't want predatory, hostile, occupation-style, stop-and-frisk, mass incarceration, suppression."

May activists are calling on officials to decrease the LAPD's budget and redirect those funds to areas such as education and health care in the city's most vulnerable neighborhoods.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has pledged to cut up to $150 million from the agency's budget.

During a virtual town hall meeting with community members, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said deep cuts won't bring about real change.

"As we look forward to building and deepening trust, is to talk about further reforms of what policing means - not just in building trust and relationships in our community but: How do we improve accountability?" Moore said.

Activists say a protest attended by more than 50,000 people in Hollywood on Sunday showed that the community is committed to changing how police departments operate.