(Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 76)
The following is a statement edited for publication on the site and delivered by yours truly to the Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC) in Los Angeles, in what would turn out to be eight hours’ worth of public comments for the meeting this past Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020.
I want to echo all of the Black & Brown voices who have made themselves heard at this public meeting thus far.
I want to commend the public for their bravery in speaking against this police and military state that we are seeing unfold across our city and across cities all over America.
To the board:
You have a chance to be on the right side of history by standing against the militarization of the state in response to working class communities marching for an end to genocidal practices against Black and Brown bodies.
Even before the protests, you were already overseeing a caste system in the L.A. County Jail with a daily population of more than 17,000 people, where Black people make up 29% of that jail system while making up less than 9% of the population in Los Angeles.
You, the board members, have a chance not to stand with the fascists. You all heard the president just yesterday declare war against unarmed Black & Brown people, even while only a few days earlier he praised armed white militias for standing for liberty against covid-19 restrictions.
Mayor Garcetti originally said he would not be calling the National Guard. An hour later, he called the National Guard. You’re closer to fascism than you would like to think.
You all need to call for the national guard to LEAVE. They’re armed with M-4 assault rifles and intimidating our community and you are standing by, doing nothing.
You need to call to disarm the LAPD right this second, who, in line with police departments across the country, are battering and injuring unarmed civilians.
You’re closer to fascism than you think.
You have enough blood and injuries on your hands already, but you still have a chance to scale all of this down before it gets worse.
If you think today’s meeting has been long, just wait until the summer when more than 2.5 million people are out of work and looking into their city’s budget, and into the leaders and representatives tasked with overseeing the interests of the people.
Finally, consider that you live in a city where more than half of the population speaks a language other than English at home, yet you offer no captions for non-English speakers.
How much do you really want to hear from your city?
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