The killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 sparked nationwide protests decrying racism and police brutality against Black people.
It’s been nearly two months and protests are still happening all over the country, including in Southern California, Portland, Chicago, Oakland and other cities. In Los Angeles, community demands have spurred the city council to approve a $150 million cut in LAPD funding and inspired reductions to the county Sheriff’s department budget. Activists are eager to secure concrete policy changes -- like proposals to create a crisis response plan to respond to some 911 calls with mental health professionals or social workers instead of armed LAPD officers, and develop alternatives for enforcing traffic laws.
On Thursday, AirTalk convened a discussion about Los Angeles activists' goals, policy changes already achieved at the city level, what reimagining community safety looks like and where L.A.'s Defund the Police movement goes from here.
With guest host Libby Denkmann
Herb Wesson, Los Angeles City Councilmember representing the 10th Council District, which includes the West Los Angeles neighborhoods of Koreatown, Mid City, Leimert Park, Crenshaw Manor and Baldwin Village; he tweets @HerbJWesson
Pete White, founder and executive director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN), a community organization that works on anti-poverty issues
Alex Vitale, professor of sociology and coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College, part of the City University of New York system (CUNY), and author of several books, his latest is “The End of Policing” (Verso, October 2017); he tweets @avitale