Los Angeles November Ballot Item Would Defund Police, Courts By Nearly $900 Million

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Jake Dima Contributor
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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to include a November ballot item that would redirect $880 million away from police and the court system over four years.

The board voted 4-1 to include the policy, dubbed “Reimagining L.A. County,” which would divert the funds from police, the district attorney’s office and the court system to “low income areas/social programs,” according to a Tweet from Fox 11 reporter Bill Melugin. Los Angeles previously defunded law enforcement by more than $150 million in an early July vote, ABC 7 reported.

If approved by voters, the measure would divert 10%, $360 million, of the city’s unrestricted general funds to bolster low-income housing, mental health programs, minority businesses and alternatives to incarceration for the year 2020, according to Fox 11. The plan will reportedly be phased in by 2024, and by the end of that time frame the total diversion of funds could reach the $880 million mark, the local outlet reported.

“It’s time to bring our budget into alignment with our actions, intentions and vision,” Los Angeles Supervisor Sheila Kuehl told Fox 11. “The supervisors have said we want to move people from custody to care, and our constituents are pleading with us to expand housing and treatment options and stop relying on punitive, outdated law enforcement tactics.”

Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva previously warned city leaders that the measure would force the department to shut doors on patrol stations in two different locations, according to Fox 11. (RELATED: LA City Council Okays Replacing Cops With Community Responders For Non-Violent Calls)

“To use the word defunding about law enforcement, when they continue to get humongous amounts of money, even should this pass, is sort of a joke. No one is ‘defunding’ the sheriff’s department. I would call it … ‘right-sizing,” Kuehl said last week, according to Fox 11.

Efforts to defund police have followed the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, video of the incident showed.

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