Non-violent service calls that police officers often respond to include mental health crises, substance abuse and disputes between neighbors.
The model will be developed by the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA) and the City Administrative Officer (CAO), with the assistance of the Los Angeles Police Department and the city’s Housing Services Authority, authorities said.
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and other relevant government service providers will also be involved in the development and implementation of the model.
The measure directs the CLA to analyze and report on the programs used at the national and international levels, as well as other models of crisis intervention. She cited CAHOOTS, a community policing association that has been established in Eugene, Oregon, as an example of a program to examine.
“The bottom line is that the way things have gone doesn’t work for our communities,” Wesson, author of the motion with Council President Nury Martinez, wrote on Twitter.
“This past month has made it very clear. We have a responsibility to listen to our people, and our people have spoken. I look forward to continuing this work with @BLMLA,” Wesson wrote, referring to Black Lives Matter-LA.
The vote comes after activists in Los Angeles, led by the city’s Black Lives Matter chapter, repeated for weeks the same call to action voiced by many across the country after George Floyd’s death in May: Evict to the police.
The movement to replace some police officers with trained personnel to respond to crises is a component of the movement. Supporters of eliminating police funds, either by abolishing the police entirely or by reducing their department budgets and reinvesting those funds in education or housing, believe that unarmed workers trained to reduce violence could better serve some members. of the community.
Weeks of activism
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in late May after pleading for help when a Minneapolis police officer used his knee on Floyd’s neck to hold him to the ground for more than eight minutes.
Video of the incident came to light and quickly sparked a global movement to demand justice and end police brutality in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, with protests across the country, including in Los Angeles.
“We need to reinvent public safety in the 21st century,” Wesson said June 16. “One that reduces the need for the presence of the armed police, especially when the situation does not necessarily require it.”
Wesson, who was the first black president of the Los Angeles City Council, said police moved from one part of the solution to another part of the problem and that they “may not be better equipped” to respond to situations other than of emergency.
“We agree with Councilman Wesson that not all calls that our city leaders have asked us to answer must be a police response,” Tom Saggau, spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Protection League, told CNN. (LAPPL) in a statement on June 16. .
“We are more than willing to talk about how, or if, we respond to non-criminal and non-emergency calls so that we can free up time to quickly respond to 911 calls, crack down on property and violent crime, and expand our community policing efforts. “
On Tuesday, Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has been criticized by Los Angeles activists amid the movement to dismantle police, praised the city council’s plan.
Nationwide calls to ‘disburse the police’
The movement calls for a considerable part of a city’s budget, normally designated to finance police departments, to be invested in communities, especially marginalized communities where much of the surveillance occurs.
The concept has been a buzz for years, particularly after protests against police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri, though it seemed unlikely in 2014.
Now, local officials have begun to listen to activists’ demands, and the change, at least in some areas of the country, seems more likely.
“The world is talking right now,” Abdullah said as he addressed members of the City Council in mid-June. “They say we don’t want a surveillance system that puts targets especially on blacks’ backs, but is also a regular assailant and traumatizer of our entire community.”
“This is one action of many that we must take on the road to a more equitable and fair system that keeps people safe,” said board member Jeremiah Ellison.
Police unions in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San José in mid-June released a collective agenda calling for national police reform and pledging to eradicate racist officers.
“Unfortunately, there is racism in our communities and that means that throughout our country there are some racist police officers,” the unions said in a joint statement. “Police unions must eradicate racism wherever it raises its ugly head and eradicate any racist individual from our profession.”
In Los Angeles, Wesson acknowledged that the new plan “will not solve all our problems right away.”
CNN’s Alexandra Meeks and Scottie Andrew contributed to this report.