Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez and her family were using the Los Angeles police as a 24-hour, taxpayer-funded private security detail when she spearheaded the motion to defund the city’s police department earlier this month.
Martinez, a democrat, failed to mention that Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers had been posted outside her home since early April, and that they continued to perform those round-the-clock private security duties even after she demanded that the department’s budget be slashed by $150 million.
According to Martinez’s neighbors, who said they liked having the security detail patrolling their neighborhood, the two-person teams had been in place outside the city council president’s home since early April, Spectrum News reported.
Martinez touted her defunding effort in a tweet on June 3, calling it a move to “reset our priorities in the wake of the murder of #GeorgeFloyd & the #BlackLivesMatter call that we all support to end racism.”
“This is just one small step,” Martinez added. “We cannot talk about change, we have to be about change.”
Martinez said that the country needs to “rethink what it is that makes people safer,” NPR reported.
“We cannot just look at the police in isolation,” her motion read. “There is no doubt that communities of color suffer disproportionately from negative interactions with the police.”
Martinez alleged that the LAPD’s agendas are driven by Jim Crow, slavery, corporatism and segregation, and claimed that officers are trained to enforce a system that oppresses certain races, FOX News reported.
“We need a vision for our city that says ‘there is going to be justice,’” she wrote in her motion to defund the LAPD, according to Spectrum News. “American society is founded on a racial hierarchy, one that is born out of slavery, followed by Jim Crow segregation and corporate abuse of labor. As such, police departments are asked to enforce a system of laws that are designed to reinforce and maintain economic and racial inequality.”
Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) Director Detective Jamie McBride, a 30-year veteran of the force, called Martinez’s proposal “ironic.”
“Here she is demanding $150 million be reallocated from the police budget, but yet she has security at her house by the Los Angeles Police Department,” Det. McBride told Spectrum News.
The private security detail was paid for by taxpayer dollars, according to the detective.
“It’s disgusting,” Det. McBride said. “For two officers in front of a residence since April, you’re probably over $100,000 of the people’s money.”
In early May, the detail was decreased from 24-hour coverage to coverage between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., Spectrum News reported.
Officers were still required to conduct roving patrol checks outside the city council president’s home throughout the overnight hours.
Martinez abruptly canceled the LAPD security detail altogether after Spectrum News called her office for comment on June 4, according to the news outlet.
On June 8, Martinez’s spokesperson, Rick Coca, said that the detail was canceled because the city council president felt that the security the officers were supposed to provide to her had been compromised, Spectrum News reported.
Coca claimed that the LAPD had recommended that police post up outside Martinez’s home after she and her daughter allegedly received “death threats…over a month ago.”
It is unclear whether or not any of the alleged threats were deemed to be credible.
“If she really felt threatened, then that security should have still been in place,” Det. McBride told Spectrum News. “Obviously there wasn’t a threat there because the units from what I understand have disappeared.”
The LAPD refused to comment on whether or not other city council members have also had protection details of their own, Spectrum News reported.
“You have police officers providing security for city leaders and then we feel backstabbed,” Det. McBride noted.
The detective said that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s anti-police attitude has also been a slap in the face to the police force.
“He calls all police officers killers, and yet we’re the ones that provide security for him his wife and his children,” Det. McBride told Spectrum News. “It’s two-faced. They’ll do whatever they can to make somebody happy over here, then they’ll go over there and say something else. It’s a typical politician move.”
Garcetti vowed on June 3 to “identify $250 million in cuts” from other departments and programs in order to “invest in jobs, in health, in education and in healing” for those “who have been left behind,” the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.
Garcetti said that “every department” in the city is expected “to step up and say, ‘What can we sacrifice?’”
Martinez and other members of the council were quick to offer up the LAPD as a sacrificial lamb.
Los Angeles Councilman Herb Wesson alleged that current legal systems “are designed to harm people of color” and must be dismantled, KNBC reported.
“A preliminary cut to the LAPD budget will not solve everything, but it’s a step toward to being the city we aspire to be,” Wesson declared.
Protesters have also demanded that police stop adding names to databases aimed at identifying and tracking gang members, so the city has agreed to impose a moratorium, Garcetti said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The city plans to dump some of the funds docked from the LAPD into creating a new special prosecutor position to look into allegations of police misconduct, which protesters have also demanded, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“It is time to move our rhetoric towards action to end racism in our city,” Garcetti declared, according to Deadline. “Prejudice can never be part of police work…It takes bravery to save lives, too.”
The mayor said that the city needs “to move toward a guardian-based system” instead of the traditional policing model, Deadline reported.
The city has established a new Civil and Human Rights Commission, which will “apply an equity lens to everything we do,” Garcetti added.
The commission is expected to be up and running by July 1, Deadline reported.
Garcetti said that the changes are being made due to the demands of the protesters and their “movement to change who we are in America when it comes to black America and our criminal justice system,” NPR reported.
Mobs of angry protesters rallied outside the mayor’s Hancock Park home for days prior to his announcement.
Black Lives Matter Los Angeles co-founder Melina Abdullah scoffed at the concessions, and said the city needs to yank even more funding from the LAPD, FOX News reported.
“[The city needs] to know that we’re fighting for truly transformative change here and won’t be bought off with just this minimal amount of money,” Abdullah declared.
A coalition of organizations led by Black Lives Matter, People’s Budget LA, has proposed a budget that would defund the LAPD even further, leaving police with a total budget that would be approximately one-tenth of its current amount, KNBC reported.
The Black Lives Matter-backed budget demands that those funds be diverted to programs like housing for the homeless.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League Board of Directors said that cutting the LAPD’s budget to that degree would have cataclysmically negative effects.
“Their ‘budget’ will guarantee that the last several nights of mayhem in Los Angeles will be the new normal,” the board told KNBC in a statement. “Laying off over 9,000 officers will leave just over 900 officers to police our city. It would be a dream come true for gang members and criminals and would expose every single neighborhood in Los Angeles to an unprecedented level of crime.”
Garcetti is expected to sign off on final budget revisions on June 30.