Update June 16: Council majority said CCPD will not see layoffs.
CLICK HERE for a recording of last night’s meeting. Despite a loud, organized minority, sanity prevailed.
Council will approve any changes into budget in their June 22nd meeting, which will become effective July 1st. Join our mailing list for updates on that. We want to be hopeful but cautious that the final budget will not affect CCPD on any fundamental level.
Update June 14th: Council will be meeting June 15th at 7pm to discuss defunding CCPD by ~20%.
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The agenda for Monday’s council meeting came came online Friday afternoon – barely the 72 hours advance notice legally required. Then came last night’s unsigned demand letter by Culver City Action Network demanding a $7.65 million cut out of a $45 million police budget. We believe this letter represents council’s intentions for tomorrow night. This gives us just about a day to prepare for something they’ve likely been planning for a couple weeks now.
That we’re relegated to online council meetings, where only the internet savvy can participate, doesn’t help.
CCPD has heroically protected our city from the looting and destruction on May 30th and 31st. Now it’s our turn to protect them. Please fill out a comment about how you feel about them. Go to protectculvercity.org/ccpd for more information, or you can go with these talking points:
- We did not have enough time to prepare for such a consequential decision for our city. Council needs to reschedule this discussion.
- The “reforms” CCAN is asking of CCPD have largely already been enacted. Culver City Police Officer’s Association mentions this and many more of their current policies which are already compliant with current concerns.
- Gutting the police budget by 20% will leave them unable to do exactly what they did to protect our city May 30th/31st.
- The end goal of this is not a more equitable police but the city’s escape from the public safety business. Doing this will leave our public safety at the mercy of the Sheriff’s department – making us little different from an unchartered city.
June 9, 2020
On the weekend of May 30th and 31st, riots and looters hit a number of neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. We all witnessed the looting of 3rd St. Promenade and, Melrose and Beverly Blvds, and Long Beach. Even Rodeo Drive wasn’t spared the mob.
Culver City remained conspicuously pristine. Aside from a few scattered spots, our major centers remained untouched: Fox Hills Mall , Downtown Culver City, Culver Center on Washington and Overland, Costco.
This wasn’t an accident or routine task. Culver City PD did a heroic job protecting all these spots from looters. Looters came in caravans, alerted by social media, in coordinated campaigns. Our police force were proactive and ready for them. They monitored social media, set up barricades at key entrances, and anyone stepping foot in key hotspots was quickly swarmed and escorted off.
For this heroic feat, our council will debate cutting the police department’s budget on June 15nd by a third. If council goes through with these budget cuts, they could take effect as soon as July 1st. Effectively rewarding our police department’s heroics with pink slips, leaving it unable to continue to do exactly what they did.
Our current council, led by councilmember Meghan Sahli-Wells and her “Gang of Four” – vice-mayor Alex Fisch, and councilmembers Thomas Small and Daniel Lee, is leading the charge. They are jumping on the “Defund the Police” mantra which emerged after the death of George Floyd. Defunding is exactly what it means – no longer paying for police. A third of the budget could be gone as soon as July 1st, and the rest of the budget gone soon after.
We’d like to think we’re over-reacting. Unfortunately, when our councilmembers are jumping on this issue the way they have been, we have to take them seriously that they will act on it. With disastrous results.
Their rationale is police are a throwback to a slavecatcher past and rooted in racism. In fact, any use of force is racist. Such rationales are laughable. We literally have a pristine Fox Hills Mall to contradict them. But as we’ve learned these past two years, current council is blind to reality and deaf to residents.
As of this posting on June 10th 2020, our city is still largely boarded up because of the looting and riots. But boards alone don’t protect our businesses. The ability to use force against those who would do us harm, in a civilized fashion, is that thin blue line that keeps our city from ruin.
Culver City’s Police Officer’s Association has released a statement about this, and we highly suggest people read it. They are fighting back, but they can’t fight this alone. As our police department defends us, we must return the favor and defend our police department.
The criticisms levied on our police department since the death of George Floyd have been nothing more than smears, fairy tales that hearken to a bygone era of redlining and sunset town clauses that date back to the 60s, if not the 20s. Today’s CCPD is the most diverse is ever been: sworn personnel makeup is 39% White, 38% Hispanic, 10% Black, 6% Asian, 4% Pacific Islander, and 3% Middle Eastern. Actual complaints about racist treatment are nil, unjust killings are nil. Meanwhile, our elite police department delivers a level of safety that brings people to our city in droves – to live, shop or work. People of all walks of life, of all races and ethnicities.
Even if we do drive these points home, our council has proven itself to be an unbreakable Gang of Four that votes lockstep. Here’s our analysis of those four:
Meghan Sahli-Wells and Daniel Lee are both hooked on fairy tales that our city can continue without a proper police force. When they say “defund the police” we need to take them both seriously.
Thomas Small makes overtures to our police department. But he makes overtures to a lot of people. In the end, he goes along with Sahli-Wells. He’s also up for re-election in November.
Alex Fisch – makes pretensions to be centrist and rational, but consistently sides with councilmember Sahli-Wells. Barring a recall effort, he’s in office until November 2022.
The one dissenting voice in our current council is mayor Goran Eriksson. He has steadfastly defended our police department against smears on their reputation.
The Black Lives Matter people sprang into action after the death of George Floyd, taking to the streets to demand defunding or abolishing the police. We can no longer dismiss such protests, or their disastrous consequences for our city. If we are to preserve our own police department, and our city itself, we need to mobilize ourselves.
We hope you will leave a comment at the June 22nd council meeting defending our police. To get more involved, please reach out to us on our contact page.