The Volokh Conspiracy

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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.


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.