Federal judge rules money for police in LA cannot depend on cooperation with immigration policies

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A federal judge ruled in favor of L.A., which claimed it was being punished by the Department of Justice for not following stricter immigration enforcement. (KABC)

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced a major win on Thursday after a federal judge ruled in favor of the city of L.A., who claimed they were being punished by the Department of Justice for not following stricter immigration enforcement.

The city filed the lawsuit last year, and the ruling from U.S. District Judge Manuel Real created a nationwide precedent that prevents the Justice Department from tying local immigration enforcement policies to the Community Oriented Policing Services grant.

"This is a complete victory and this is yet another dagger in the heart of the administration's efforts to use federal funds as a weapon to make local jurisdictions complicit in it's civil immigration enforcement policies," said Feuer.

The city applies for annual policing grants that, in L.A., go to community policing. In 2016, the city received over $3 million, which helped hire 25 officers. But last year, new rules from the Trump administration asked that cities alert immigration agents before releasing inmates and allow those agent to conduct inmate interviews.

Since the city has not complied with these changes, L.A. wasn't awarded any grant money from a $98 million nationwide pool.

"Today, the court said loud and clear what we have said loud and clear. Quit politicizing public safety," said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The injunction prevents the Trump administration from imposing their civil immigration related regulations.

"We won't be bullied and we can't be bought. You cannot force us to go against our policies, to go against our principles by withholding money," said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

"They claim that we're ineffective about crime, and that is just absolute BS. I travel the whole country with major city police chiefs and when a city has a problem, who do they look to for mentorship and leadership and the techniques and practices that make a big city safe? L.A.," added Beck.

City News Service contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
politicsimmigrationPresident Donald TrumpLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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