Guns

L.A. Politicians Planning Big Gift to Gun Industry, Private Security Companies

The likely unintentional result if the City of Los Angeles implements its plans to reduce the proposed police department budget (now $1.8B) by $100-150M.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

See this story, and also this one:

Garcetti spoke of "reinvesting in black communities and communities of color."

The mayor proceeded to announce $250 million in cuts to the proposed budget and to reallocate those dollars to communities of color, "so we can invest in jobs, in education and healing." L.A. Police Commission President Eileen Decker then announced that $100 million-$150 million of those cuts would come from the police department budget.

I doubt this will on balance help black and Hispanic Angelenos, who are especially at risk of the violent crime that police are most needed to fight (much more so than of the violent crime that the police do indeed sometimes commit), see, e.g., these homicide statistics. But it surely will lead more people to conclude that, as police protection declines, self-protection becomes all the more valuable—as does private security, for the few rich enough to afford it.

UPDATE 9:35 pm: I should add that, if the politicians were to frame this as, "We're not going to increase the LAPD budget as much as we were planning to, but think instead about how better to spend the money to invest in things that we think can help prevent crime" (the original proposed budget apparently included a huge increase), the effect would be quite different. But they're deliberately framing it as cutting, because that gets them the anti-police message they want. Well, that message is likely to have other effects, too.

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  1. There is actually a poll that shows that 90% of blacks and Hispanics think that their neighborhoods need MORE police officers, not less.

    And many of them in the same poll are ALSO concerned about police misconduct, proving that ordinary people can hold more nuanced and balanced views than their educated betters. (Cue: Arthur Kirkland).

    As a small-l libertarian, I have long been concerned about police misconduct against all citizens, especially exacerbated by militarization, qualified immunity, civil forfeiture and unaccountable police unions.

    But I will observe that in the utopia that will come to be after the police are abolished, everyone will carry an AR15 as if it is a Gucci handbag and the rioters and looters will either be machine gunned or sold as slaves.

    1. The cost of private security is labor, but if it is volunteer, that disappears. I can see the Black & Hispanic men who want their families & businesses safe patrolling their neighborhoods.

      The question will be if it becomes a collective patrol, like the volunteer fire departments of today, or if they only protect the property of their members, like 300 years ago.

      The reason we went to municipal fire departments was that the competing fire departments would fight at fires and attempt to prevent each department from fighting fires of their customers.

      1. The *price* of volunteer labor may be zero, but the *cost* is quite high. Assume a 10 hour workday, counting commute and lunch, and 8 hours sleep, that leaves 6 hours for breakfast, dinner, and time with family. Assuming each neighborhood watch requires just one hour of each family’s time, that’s 1/6 of the time, and most families would find that a burden to repeat even once or twice a week, let alone every day.

        1. The price will be higher than that.

          What generally happens when vigilantes have to take over police functions is that they start dispensing justice too.

          They aren’t going to build their own jails, so that leads to 4 outcomes: fines (taxes), beatings, banning, and killings.

          It’s not a new phenomenon, and it’s why we decided police are the best solution to the problem a long time ago. It’s very imperfect but the alternative is worse, and it’s doesn’t lead to less violence or more equal justice.

          1. You mean the *cost* will be higher. The *price* can stay at zero for all that matters.

    2. They’re referring to “quality,” not “quantity.”

      1. That’s not what the poll asked. But you can certainly run your own poll.

        1. Don’t need to. They are not asking to have greater numbers of police abusing them. They’re referring to quality, not quantity.

  2. “for the few rich enough to afford it”

    Like Garcetti?

  3. Municipalities cannot afford the pensions anyway. With the unfunded municipal pension bubble ready to pop, seems inevitable to me that support for public unions wanes. Long term, I see this as a good thing for accountable government.

    1. The real question is not “whether” public support for public sector unions like the police decline, its whether Republicans will be smart enough to get ahead of this and lead the charge.

    2. What public authorities at all levels can “afford” can’t possibly have anything to do with decades of conservatives bashing against taxes, can it?

      I guess that’s another chicken that’s come home to roost: starve the state: Decades of bashing against taxes = not enough military forces to protect the common affairs of the bourgeoisie

      1. Martinned has got it! Our government is simply underfunded. If only we spent more, the government would have enough money to fix all these problems!

        I mean, we only spent $7.3 trillion on government at all levels last year. That’s only 34% of GDP. So there’s another two thirds of everything we earn that isn’t being used for the public good by government.

        We are off to an excellent start on remedying that this year though! We’ve plopped a whopping $8 trillion in extra spending on the pile so far, including the actions of the Fed. So spending at a 2/3 of GDP clip is already in the offing… and they claim they aren’t done yet. And that’s just at a federal level.

        Of course, those revised 2020 numbers also assume that GDP is unchanged. Normally you could project a 2% growth in GDP. But we’ve taken an entire quarter off. So I really don’t think you can count on growth this year.. maybe a contraction in GDP is in the offing.

        Plus, you have to think that several states are going to have to bump spending to handle this crisis….

        So we could be on track for spending at 70% of GDP or more this year.

        Would that do it? Could letting the government control 7 cents of every dollar we earn finally make the difference?

      2. “What public authorities at all levels can “afford” can’t possibly have anything to do with decades of conservatives bashing against taxes, can it? ”

        LA is a Democratic city with a Democratic dominated council and usually a Dem mayor. The last GOP mayor [after the 1992 riots] was a liberal businessman.

        No conservative has any influence whatsoever in it tax structure.

      3. LA is a progressive paradise, and like most Deep Blue progressive paradises, it becomes brutal and oppressive across the board.

        It’s not just police brutality either. It’s simple casual oppression. The city does very little to prevent graffiti vandalism of private property. But the private property owner must clean up the graffiti at her own cost or the city will fine her.

        This is just one of many many examples.

  4. I don’t understand ho wit’s even legal for the city govt. to reallocate funds in the budget to political organizations.

    1. What law would prevent it?

      1. You think politicians can spend money any way they choose, regardless of legislation authorizing expenditures? Like it’s a big, giant slush fund of some kind? That’s not how government works, or is supposed to work according to the law.

        1. What turnip truck did you just fall off?

          Governments at all levels make grants to all sorts of private entities many of which are obviously political some are the private arms of political groups or individual politicians.

  5. This combined with Minnesota’s “upcharging” for the Floyd case (an upcharging that practically guarantees an innocent verdict, while simultaneously discouraging police) means….We’re going to see the Freddie Grey situation again. But potentially nationwide.

    For those who need a reminder, Freddie Grey died while in police custody in Baltimore. So, the over-eager prosecutors there decided to charge everyone. They didn’t get a single guilty verdict.

    But the Baltimore PD took the message home quite well. Don’t take any risks. Don’t engage in any policing unless absolutely necessary. Don’t get out of your car and walk around the neighborhood. If you see something suspicious…don’t approach. Let it go.

    The result of course? A spike in Baltimore’s murder rate.

    1. You clearly don’t know about what you’re talking. First of all, it isn’t called “upcharging”, it’s called “over charging” IF you could even call it that in George Floyd’s case. Second, your ignorance is further illustrated by you saying this “upcharging practically guarantees an innocent verdict”. That is an extremely ignorant interpretation of what overcharging is. It’s actually the opposite. A prosecutor overcharges as a tactic to get a jury to “split the baby” and find the person guilty of a lesser included offense (i.e. charging someone with murder and the. Asking for a lesser included offense or manslaughter bc it’s easier to obtain). Finally, you may call yourself an armchair lawyer, but you don’t know a damn thing about it. In American courts, common law (i.e. case law) díctates anytime the facts presented via testimony and evidence support it, a lessor includes offense must be given by the judge. Therefore, your idiotic armchair opinion that “practically guarantees an innocent verdict” is based in 100% fiction. It doesn’t happen that way and never has. I GUARANTEE you, Derek Chauvin will be convicted of manslaughter, at best, but most likely he will be convicted of 3rd degree murder. In fact, the prosecutor should have filed 2nd degree or 1st degree murder charges in my opinion, and that wouldn’t even be overcharging it, Bc that is what that POS did. How do I know any of this? I’m a real trial lawyer for the past 18 years and was a prosecutor for the first 4.5 years. I’m also white, in case you want to know, and this issue isn’t about racism, even though that is what the media and the Dems want everyone to think. However, police kill more whites people every year by far, double the number of black people killed, and that should be obvious as to why, since the white population makes up the majority. This is ahí it abuse of power, police brutality, or simply put, “asshole cops”. Where people have their rights violated every day in America, but they don’t call it racism, they just call it what it is. That is the same thing you have here, but then the Dems wouldn’t be able to attack Trump if they called it what it really is. So instead, that is why all of these Democrat strongholds were looted and burned, and by whom? Why weren’t they stopped? It’s all a coordinated effort to create something out of nothing, bc the media and Dems will do anything to keep Trump out of office, including allowing the destruction of people’s businesses and violence upon violence. That is how a police precinct was able to be burned to the ground, and why all you hear from the media is blaming Trump and white people, and how bad black people have it. They are all playing the black communities again for fools, expecting them to roll out and vote Trump out of office. The. They will go back to doing nothing for the black people, just like the Dems never have and always do…amazing they have convinced this many people to buy their bull$hit for this long .

      1. Can you elaborate on the evidence you see that would provide probable cause for a first degree murder charge?

        (It is perhaps worth adding that the case law in Minnesota makes it clear that third degree murder is not a lesser included offense of second degree murder, at least on these facts.)

        1. Noscitur — After the guy in handcuffs loses consciousness, and the cop keeps his knee on the neck for almost 2 minutes more, what is that except action to make sure he dies? Tell me, what other explanation can you think of?

          1. He didn’t die of strangulation. He died of a heart attack.

            1. Armchair lawyer: I believe the coroner’s conclusion was that he died of asphyxiation.

          2. Stephen,

            He’s asking about first degree murder charge suggested by Ellzax, not the actual second degree murder charge issued. In Minneosta, that appears to require premeditation and an aggravating factor (such as the victim was a child, a cop, etc.), or murders the person during a sexual assault, burglary, etc. Your comment about “make sure he dies” doesn’t speak to any of those factors. (It may speak to second degree murder versus third degree murder.)

            1. Thanks for that NToJ. I do think the circumstances prove premeditation. That is what my question was about. Didn’t know about the aggravating factors part.

              1. Proving that the officer actually /intended/ George Floyd to die would be an awfully hard case to make, whereas it seems pretty obvious (to me at any rate) that he acted sadistically in a way that one could reasonably foresee might lead to death — and that did lead to death. I don’t know Minnesota’s law. In general terms that sounds like reckless disregard for human life, which would generally be manslaughter.

                But who knows? Maybe the cop was planning for qualified immunity to intervene, as it has so many times before.

      2. Calls someone ignorant. Thinks Chauvin woke up one day and said ‘yeah going kill me some black people, that will work out well for me!’

      3. Overcharge: Charge someone for a more serious offense than is warranted to attempt to get a plea bargain deal.

        Upcharge: Take the original, rational charges that were filed, then upgrade them for a higher charges due to zealotry from a new proescutor.

        Why the new charge is idiotic: Because the second degree murder charge is that Flynn was murdered while Chauvin was committing or attempting to commit a felony offense.

        What’s the felony offense? Restraining a criminal suspect. You can argue the technique was negligent or reckless. But the action of restraining itself “felony assault”? You really want to make that case? Have that on the record, restraining a resisting suspect is felony assault?

        1. Have you actually verified that “restraining a criminal suspect” IS the felony offense the second degree murder charge will be predicated on? Because I find that rather unlikely.

          Now, it’s likely that Chauvin’s defense will be that the predicate felony he actually is charged with was, instead, just him restraining a criminal suspect. By kneeling on said suspect’s neck for 8 1/2 minutes…

          I would gladly make the case that kneeling on a suspect’s neck for 8 1/2 minutes, including continuing to do so after they lose consciousness, was at best reckless.

          1. The argument being made is that restraining the criminal suspect is felony assault. They need the felony assault charge, so they can charge the other officers with aiding and abetting.

            https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/04/us/george-floyd-officers-charges-explained/index.html

          2. The officer was barely “kneeling” on his head. Read the autospy. No facial trauma. If someone really kneeled on your head while you’re on asphalt, you’d have significant bruising or worse.

    2. So this ignorant lobsterman isn’t the only one who noticed the “upcharging” of what was a sketchy case to begin with….

      1. Look, if a mob of people have been burning buildings down and beating old ladies with 2×4 clubs for daring to stand in the way of their looting, I’m listening very closely when they start demanding harsher charges for all 4 suspects.

        If not for the sake of old ladies who are getting beaten by mobs, then for the fact that the mob knows my name, my face and can easily determine where I and my family reside.

        I can easily rationalize that choice by the fact that I have months to work out the details of a case, but rioters are looking for targets right now

  6. They should put up cameras and use face recognition technology to make policing more efficient.

    1. I totally agree! I Have been preaching that for years. Our US and state lawmakers have failed us. They have the technology, and as constituents we should all demand the police be monitored 24/7 with body cams, dash cams, booking cameras etc. They DO have it in many places, but not all. The cops don’t want it, though, and they have learned how to abuse it. This should be monitored by independent agencies, so the police Dept in question can’t hide or destroy or turn off the cameras. And YES, they DO that already. There is no excuse in this day and age why we don’t have mandatory surveillance of all police activity. It would also protect the police depts from frivolous lawsuits wherein people lie about what happened to them. The police should want it, but they don’t bc of shut head cops like D Chauvin. RIP George Floyd, and I hope Chauvin goes to prison for life, along with those other three assholes that didn’t do anything to help him. And yes, I’m white. This isn’t about racism, this is about police brutality and abuse of power, bc white people’s rights are violated every day in America also. They just don’t call it racism, they call it what it is, an abuse of power.

      1. Crime has been dropping for close to 40 years. Why should police brutality cases be any different? Local governments are afraid to generate accurate statistics, but they should not be.

    2. YAAAY Libertarianism!!!

  7. I don’t think the line between a billion-dollar budget and efficacy, or even just number of officers, is nearly as clear as all that.

  8. Does anybody else have the sense that “right” and “left” are flipping? That the supposedly ‘liberal’ elite oligarchs who own much of the media want to become a more or less hereditary ruling class, guarding the institutional gateways to privilege? And looking down upon ‘petty bourgeoisie’ and traditional labor, but appealing to the ‘lumpenproletariat?’ That the tech elites are really the ‘right’?
    And suddenly we ‘small L libertarians’ , left as the advocates of traditionally ‘liberal’ views of rights, privileges, and the nature of humanity, that we are now the ‘left’? Is this whiplash, or our heads spinning? Does it change our message?

    1. The Left’s tactic of asking the Right for equal treatment works because the Right values fair treatment.

      The Right’s tactic of asking the Left for fair treatment doesn’t work because the Left doesn’t value fair treatment.

    2. I don’t have that sense at all, because it would require me to rely entirely on, and be very confident about, vague political definitions that aren’t really applicable to the overwhelming number of people I interact with. “Does anybody else have the sense that [what follows is a bunch of code words placed seemingly randomly]…” Naw, bro. I don’t even know what the words you use mean, so how could I comment on whether it describes a phenomenon that I also see?

      1. I should add that maybe it would help if you used less coded language, were more specific, and had examples to help illustrate the things you are trying to describe.

    3. It’s certainly the case that the right is the side that cares about robust defense of freedom of speech, which would have come as a big surprise to the founders of the ACLU.

  9. It seems that this move in LA is just an example of how big city mayors are trying to escape their responsibility for failing to curb police violence and abuses for decades. The police are answerable to the mayor and if the modes of police behavior have not improved, the mayors must accept the blame. If the city police have become more militarized, the mayors are to blame.

    When city police become the first line of dealing with mental illness, despite lack of training, or become the de facto social workers for the homeless, that is not the fault of the police or their unions, the buck stops with the mayor.

    It may happen that big city mayors have been predominantly of one party, but this observation fits both right and left feet.

    Don’t be fooled by this political juke; it is a transparent doge to escape dodge to escape accountability.

    1. “Hmmmm…how can we maximize this situation? I know! Divert police money to social programs! It simultaneously gives a good feeling of kicking the police in the nuts, while lavishing money on voters, always a plus!”

      “But they want better policing in their crime-infested areas, not less.”

      “Doesn’t matter. By the time the upward crime statistics appear, the election will be over.”

      1. Krayt, as has said before by somebody, ordinary cops aren’t in the crime-prevention business, they are in the somebody-committed-a-crime business. Detectives are more useful against crime.

        I think in many jurisdictions it would save a lot of money, and deliver more security, to halve the beat cops, and double the detectives. For another big advance, ditch the militarized policing, and take half that money to hire more detectives.

        1. You have this exactly backwards. Detectives don’t prevent crimes, they investigate crimes. Beat cops do at least occasionally prevent crimes.

          1. Jailing criminals prevents crimes two ways—deterrence and incapacitation. That is what detectives do.

  10. Advocating police reform is one thing. But making Trump the candidate who doesn’t want to abolish the police is a rather bold strategy.

    1. How do you figure? Trump doesn’t mind the police as long as they don’t investigate him and his friends, and more generally do as he says.

      1. I think TwelveInchPianist’s point is that the left will allow Trump to pitch himself to the voters as “My adversaries are the ones who are talking about abolishing police departments — I’m the guy who will keep that from happening.” That’s a “rather bold strategy” as a jocular term for a “politically foolish strategy.”

  11. Given the amount of excessive force we have witnessed by police officers in response to peaceful protesters, reducing their budget just makes good sense.

    The police need to be reminded that they work for us and that they are public servants. The attitudes we see with so much excessive force are not those of public servants fulfilling their duty to protect and serve.

    For example, consider this video from Buffalo:

    https://twitter.com/PhillyD/status/1268727223923535872

    We need some sort of balance with the police. I don’t think we have it. And withdrawing funding is one source of leverage we have to ensure good behavior.

    Police departments that do an excellent job and maintain excellent community relations deserve more funding. Those who do less well, deserve less funding. This is how any business in the private sector works. This is how the public sector should work also.

    1. “ Given the amount of excessive force we have witnessed by police officers in response to peaceful protesters, reducing their budget just makes good sense.”

      I think that you are delusional. And that is the problem. For the most part, the protesters go home at dusk and the domestic terrorists come out and start looting, burning, and attacking the police as well as a number of non police. Police are dying. Civilians are dying, at te hands of these domestic terrorists.

      Downtowns across the country have been looted and burned out. Even the flagship Macy’s in NYC. Police cars burned in numerous cities. All by your peaceful protesters. And a lot more Blacks murdered than the one who set this up. And you are buying into the fable that these are resulting from peaceful protests.

      The center of this terror campaign is a nationwide conspiracy that many have been expecting since last summer. So far it has been much better coordinated than the responses have been (except in places like Coeur d’Alene, where the appearance of large numbers of well armed citizenry appears to have turned away overflow “protesters” from nearby Spokane).

      1. “I think that you are delusional.”

        Delusional or gaslighted. The media ARE selling, hard, the idea that the riots and looting are just peaceful protest. Unfortunately, this is going to work on some people, who don’t regularly access a wide enough range of sources, critically enough, to be able to tell when they’re being fed BS.

      2. Why have people been expecting it since last summer? What, in your view, is the instigating event that occurred last summer?

    2. And yet, you look at public schools sometimes….

  12. “I should add that, if the politicians were to frame this as, “We’re not going to increase the LAPD budget as much as we were planning to, but think instead about how better to spend the money to invest in things that we think can help prevent crime” (the original proposed budget apparently included a huge increase), the effect would be quite different.”

    They said they’d invest the money diverted from the police into “jobs, education and healing.”

    education – doesn’t LA already have a whole school system?

    jobs – a new Civilian Conservation Corps? What are the specifics?

    healing – does this mean health-care reform, or a more hippie-ish, touchy-feely definition of healing?

    In short, other than a slogan for more spending, what do “jobs, education and healing” actually entail, and how do we measure success?

    1. It means “handing out contracts to cronies in the black community so I can protect both my standing and their standing”.

      It doesn’t really matter what the contracts are for as long as the money is funneled to the right sorts of people.

  13. Not sure I see why cutting dollars means reduced police efficiency. Maybe it just means the budget for militarized policing gets cut. In terms of expenditures, militarized policing has got to be the least efficient part of any police budget. Cutting it would likely increase budget efficiency. It would deliver useful reform (and widespread pubic relief) in any case.

    More generally, EV’s attempt to link surging gun sales with Democratic politicians is lame. Gun culture in America generates its own surges, all the time, over everything. There are folks around who apparently cannot think of any way to respond to events—policy events, natural events, civil restlessness, election results, economic downturns, whatever—except by purchasing guns and ammo.

    Except for occasional public forays to display guns in public—apparently with an eye to intimidate the unarmed—buying guns and ammo seems to be the principal method some folks use to relate to the world around them. In a world where there is so much they feel they cannot do, buying arms gives them something they can do. It’s apparently reassuring for them.

    It’s not good for the nation. Whether or not the folks buying all these arms become dangerous themselves, the guns will outlast them, and eventually be dispersed into other hands, with menacing figures undoubtedly among them.

    It feels like EV is cheering those reflexive gun buyers on. He seems to enjoy the intimidating implications for the future, or at least not worry about them. Which looks peculiar, given how much greater is EV’s personal agency and access to power, compared even to typical middle class Americans, let alone the apparently power-starved gun-surge guys.

    I have said before that I suspect EV lacks experience with deadly gun use, either as a participant or as a witness. To guide gun policy, that is the only kind of gun experience safe to rely upon. Without it, what takes over is too often a mishmash of empty rationalism, plus pop culture gun celebration, plus self-satisfied but also self-deceptive gun-range experience—all blurring together into poorly-founded dreams of private prowess and public efficacy.

    EV’s comments on guns come across as an uneasy hybrid of sound legal expertise, unrealistically benign assessments of gun culture implications, out-sized public influence, and outright gun romanticism. Say what you will, EV on guns is an American original, and an unsettling one.

    1. Not sure I see why cutting dollars means reduced police efficiency….

      Cutting budgets means less police officers and/or lower pay (which makes it harder to keep get or keep good police officers).

      Less police officers means longer response times, which means more unsolved crimes.

      1. Just out of curiosity: Do you think that logic also applies to other areas of government activity? (Say, the CDC?)

        1. “(Say, the CDC?)”

          Its budget has gone up every year for decades.

        2. Yes*

          *So, when large government organizations have their budget cut (like the CDC), it’s usually on a program specific basis. If, for example, some might think the CDC should focus on infection diseases, and was becomingly unfocused as an institute due to its research on everything (for example, domestic violence, which some might consider not the proper domain of the CDC).

          If people thought that, then by cutting the budget devoted to CDC domestic violence research, the upper management would have more time and attention for critical infectious disease research.

      2. “Cutting budgets means less police officers and/or lower pay (which makes it harder to keep get or keep good police officers).”

        No, it doesn’t mean that unless the cuts are to the personnel budget. And even if they are, that could mean a number of cuts that don’t include a reduction in force.

        1. Realistically, it does. That’s because personnel budgets regularly account for 80-95% of the entire police budget. In LA for example, the total police budget was 1.86 Billion. But Personnel costs accounted for 1.75 Billion of that. If you’re going to cut $150 million from the police budget, there is no physical way to do that without cutting personnel.

          http://cao.lacity.org/budget20-21/2020-21Proposed_Budget.pdf

          Now, if you just slash salaries (as opposed to slashing the number of positions), you run into a series of different problems. Even if you could get that past the contracts with the union (and California state law that is very employee friendly), then you run into a different problem. Good police officers are in demand. If police see their salaries being slashed in one jurisdiction, they’ll think about moving to a jurisdiction that is willing to pay them what they’re worth. And it’s the good ones who will get the job offers. Leaving the “bad” ones behind.

          1. “Realistically” your aunt’s balls. What is far more likely is new or that vacant positions will go un-filled; programs, like outreach, will be reduced or cut; facility upgrades will be put off; new vehicle and equipment purchases will be delayed; and any other of numerous other decisions that do not include a reduction in the number of police.

            None of this is to say there *won’t* be a reduction in force. I don’t know what they’re planning. But I have plenty of experience in this area, and “cuts to their budget” does not “mean” a reduction in the number of police.

            1. When “vacant positions go unfilled”….that means less police officers.

              If you have “plenty of experience in this area”, I provided a helpful link to the City of LA’s budget. It outlined the exact numbers that go towards personnel expenses, as well as the rest of the police budget.

              Please tell me how you’re going to cut $150 million from that budget without hitting personnel?

              1. No, it doesn’t. In fact, departments keep positions vacant on purpose for various reasons. It might be time for you to consider that your speculations do not make up for your ignorance on the matter.

              2. Oh, and I already provided a few examples how. There are many ways to move money and priorities around that do not require terminating officers.

                1. Be specific. Very specific. What in that budget above would you cut and how, in order to save $150 Million?

                  Are you arguing that the department budgeted for a $150 million dollars worth of positions that they intended to keep vacant (and not spend the money on).

                  1. No, I’m not going to do that for many reasons, not the least of which is that I am not in charge of L.A.’s budget planning.

                    Yes, departments (not just PD) keep positions open. Among the reasons they do is for budgetary reasons. Have space for three Deputy Chiefs; use two; then use the money for the third at a later time for whatever need (possibly to help fund lower positions, among others). It is a common budgetary maneuver. It’s even possible, though incredibly unlikely, that 8% of their budget is vacant positions.

                    Of course, I listed other areas besides vacant positions that can be used to manage the proposed cuts. The fact you want to keep yanking that one thread is telling. For instance, it tells me I’m wasting my time here (which, tbh, I already knew).

                    You started this off by proclaiming that budget cuts “mean” reduction in force. I’ve explained why you are wrong to say that. And there’s no reason for me to keep banging my head against your wall.

                    1. You really, really, don’t get the SCALE of the budget cuts being proposed.

                      This isn’t a 1% or 2% reduction in the budget. This is on the order of an 8% cut, in a department that spends 94% of its budget on personnel. It’s a $150 million dollar cut. It’s huge.

                      Let’s start stripping all the “non-personnel” costs.

                      Wipe out the entire transportation equipment budget. That’s $10 Million. Wipe out all uniforms. That’s another $4 Million. Wipe out all office and administrative supplies. That’s $23 million. Wipe out every single firearm and ammunition acquisition. That’s $5 million. Wipe out all field equipment (like bulletproof vests) That’s $10 million.

                      OK, the Cops now have no new cars, no new bullets, no new uniforms, no new office equipment, and no bulletproof vests. You’ve saved $52 million. You need to save another ~$100 million. What are you going to cut next?

                      Unless you think the LAPD is “hiding” $100 million in vacant positions on its books somehow.

                    2. Armchair, this is about just one item on your budget list, the $10 million for transportation equipment. Does that include police cars? Wikipedia tells me there are 10,000 police officers in L.A. If you put two officers in each squad car, and run each car for 3 shifts, then one car serves the needs of six officers per day. Very roughly, obviously, that suggests about 1400 cars (You need more than 6 officers per week). But that assumes maximum efficiency, which probably is not even approached. When I look it up, the figure I find is 6,000 cars.

                      What do those cost, and how long do they last? My guess is about $40,000 per car, (because cop cars are beefed up when manufactured, and expensively equipped before seeing service). And two years max for service life, because police cars are in service 24/7, around the clock. And police departments don’t retain vehicles which break down. (Two years is the service life my own small town police force uses, by the way.)

                      Long story short, $10-million seems wildly unrealistic. Replacing half that fleet every year would run about $120-million, less whatever they get selling the used ones (probably one pittance per car). Is it possible you misunderstand the budget numbers? Or that the public budget numbers are unreliable?

  14. “LOS ANGELES – Masks. Hoodies. Sledgehammers. Crowbars. Baseball bats.

    “These are the descriptions Jewish business owners cited when talking about how their stores were looted and ransacked, and synagogues were vandalized with graffiti after peaceful protests spiraled out of control in Los Angeles beginning on Friday night and continuing into the weekend….

    “[Aryeh] Rosenfeld [owner of a lotted business] described the scene late Saturday night with people driving down the Fairfax district streets screaming, “effing Jews,” at them. He said when they saw a police car, they waved it down, hoping they would arrest a looter they had pinned down, but the cop said, “We can’t do anything, we have officers who need assistance.””

    https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/jewish-business-describe-vandalism-looting-of-businesses-in-la-630089

    It sounds like a round of budget-cutting is in order. /sarc

  15. This is nothing but political posturing. They had proposed adding 671 million to the LAPD budget which probably would have been pared down anyway. So Garcetti claims he is “cutting” 100-150 million so he can look woke. What a joke. Of course they probably will dole out some amount to the “black community” which will undoubtedly go to race hustlers and con men. New community services will sprout run by people getting 250k salaries and staffed by family and friends.

    1. “This is nothing but political posturing.”

      Exactly. Due to the virus shutdowns, muni income is cratering. Every part of the LA budget is going to be cut.

  16. Wow, who knew a maximum 8% cut to a $1.8 billion budget would have such consequences? I look forward to the rest of this series where you discuss the problems associated with cuts to social services, which occur far more regularly than cuts to police budgets.

    1. Otis,
      Have you ever run a business with a 90% labor expense. And 8% cut invariably leads to at least that large a layoff. As the cops get paid much more than admins, that means that the overall layoffs will be ~10% or about 500 people.
      May not be a big deal to you but your job is not on the line

      1. I’m not repeating my responses to Armchair. You can just look up a couple threads and read it yourself.

  17. That’s been politician-speak for as long as I’ve been following politics. Not increasing the budget as much as you had at one time planned to increase the budget = “budget cuts”.

  18. I want to foreground this:
    I think that you are delusional. And that is the problem. For the most part, the protesters go home at dusk and the domestic terrorists come out and start looting, burning, and attacking the police as well as a number of non police. Police are dying. Civilians are dying, at te hands of these domestic terrorists.

    So despite the countless videos of police beating or hurting innocents, the we should not believe our lying eyes, but rather Bruce’s evidenceless invocation of terrorism.

    1. I must have watched over 300 Twitter videos over the last week, almost all raw videos posted by bystanders.

      The vast majority of protestors have been peaceful.

      There are certainly some videos where police are unquestionably beating or hurting innocents, including one here in Austin, where a cop fired a rubber round and hit the head of a bystander who was just standing there observing the scene.

      There are far more videos where the rioters have been physically pushing, throwing rocks, provoking confrontation and progressing to rioting, looting and burning thereafter. As just one example of the famous St. John of the Photo Op church:

      Fire set at historic St. John’s church during protests of George Floyd’s death
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/fire-set-at-historic-st-johns-church-during-protests-of-george-floyds-death/2020/06/01/4b5c4004-a3b6-11ea-b619-3f9133bbb482_story.html

      This happened the night before, which is why Trump chose it for his photo op. No one on the left seems to care that a church was set on fire!

      On the same night the protestors were aggressively trying to rush the White House perimeter. Watching the live feeds from the scene, I actually got a little anxious that they might succeed and bloodshed would certainly result.

      The First Amendment protects peaceable assembly. It does not protect fighting words, physical confrontations and street fighting. And a huge amount of that has been committed.

      1. Your anecdotal survey is 1) unreliable, and 2) doesn’t matter.

        In protests about police brutality, the police being brutal is rather a big deal, regardless of some arbitrary baselines you set based on all the time you spent on twitter.

        No one on the left seems to care that a church was set on fire!
        Because 1) there is no sign of what happened, and 2) it did not actually burn down. Attempts don’t carry the same weight. But you have a narrative to push so your weighting is different. Fine for you, not very convincing for the public.

        The First Amendment protects peaceable assembly. It does not protect fighting words, physical confrontations and street fighting. And a huge amount of that has been committed.
        Street fighting? Fighting words?!! You do realize what you are defending, as responses to that, right?

        1. Are you saying that it’s OK to set the church on fire because it didn’t burn down?

          It did not burn down because the fire department got to it in time!

          Wow.

          1. There is nothing in what Sarcastro said that could possibly suggest he thinks it’s ok to burn a church or attempt to do so.

            The reason nobody cared about some half baked, abortive arson attempt is because the church is managed by adults. Life moved on. It would take a complete asshole to try and use that paltry fire starter’s failure as an excuse for a photo op. Only an Olympic-level dickweed would then use that as an excuse to make a cringeworthy, unnatural bible porn. And then it would take a true world class bullshitter to send his lackeys to pretend that it was all just bad timing. And here you arguing that the church was chosen by the President because of the fire. How stupid do you feel?

        2. I’m sure you’d take the same attitude about a similarly unsuccessful attempt to torch a rural black church, right?

  19. Call it “often libertarian,” or a “Ted Cruz-class libertarian,” but it’s still just an authoritarian right-winger in faux libertarian drag.

  20. “The Los Angeles Police Department is launching an investigation into officers who were caught on camera using batons on protesters and officers who were photographed hitting a homeless man in the face, according to department spokesman Joshua Rubenstein.” — The Washington Post.

    “Make sure those officers get a raise!” — an “often libertarian” blog.

  21. Also, this is some ways the ip side of filing racial harassments complaints against people who read Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail.

    Even if there is no basis for it, there can be tremendous deterrance value. Wavering people can decide its just not worth the risk to their jobs, careers, reputations, and sanity to become involved.

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