LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Major union leaders in Los Angeles County Monday pledged their support to the Black Lives Matter agenda working toward defunding the Los Angeles Police Department and redirecting those funds to community organizations.
Leaders from United Teachers Los Angeles, Service Employees International Union and others came out to a peaceful protest in front of City Hall calling for an end to systemic racism.
“It’s really just bound to ideologies that all of America operates on, ideologies that have been inherited from generation after generation, ideologies that tell one group of people that they are more dominant and in a position of power over another group of people,” one demonstrator said.
Along with an end to systemic racism, the demonstrators also called for the city to go even further to defund the LAPD.
“We don’t want $150 million taken out of the budget, or $100 million taken out of the budget,” Melina Abdullah, co-founder of BLM-LA, said. “We want the whole thing. We want to really radically reimagine what it means to have public safety and community safety.”
Activists say reallocating money from police department budgets to social services is a great idea, but police officers said that even an 8% budget cut will mean major losses in coverage.
“You’re going to end up delaying investigations of murders and rapes and assaults, your violent crimes,” Robert Harris, of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said. “You’re going going to decimate our ability to crackdown on things like human trafficking, you’re going to pull officers away from the homeless task force.”
LAPPL is a union that represents more than 9,900 sworn LAPD officers.
BLM-LA leaders said they would not stop their peaceful protests until they see change happening.