The tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police department has set off a firestorm within the American culture.
Floyd was killed by officer Derek Chauvin in a gruesome encounter caught on tape, in which Chauvin kneels on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes as he suffocates to death. Floyd was heard several times telling Chauvin that he cannot breath, (as well as heart-wrenchingly calling out for his dead mother), before finally succumbing.
As the incident went viral on social media, Americans of all stripes took to the streets to demand justice for Floyd…among other things, like “defunding” or abolishing the police system altogether.
Now, one of California’s largest cities is doing just that.
The Los Angeles City Council passed a motion Tuesday to replace Los Angeles Police Department officers with unarmed “crisis response” personnel to be assigned to “non-violent calls for service” such as “neighbor disputes.”
The motion, introduced by Councilmember Herb Wesson and five colleagues on the 15-member council, would:
- INSTRUCT the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA) and the City Administrative Officer (CAO), with assistance from the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Housing Services Authority and in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and other relevant government service providers, to develop an unarmed model of crisis response that would divert non-violent calls for service (mental health crisis, substance abuse, neighbor disputes etc.) away from LAPD to the appropriate non-law enforcement agencies.
- INSTRUCT the CLA to analyze and report back on programs utilized both domestically and internationally such as CAHOOTS in Eugene, Oregon as well other models of crisis intervention.
A number of smaller cities around the nation have already begun taking similar measures, but Los Angeles is very likely the most metropolitan area to plunge into such revolutionary thinking.