As protesters fill the streets of LA, pushing for racial justice and an end to police violence, one of the changes they’re calling for is to cut the budget of the LA police department. They say some of that money should be allocated to other needs, like housing and public schools.
Public records indicate that a Los Angeles city councilman who voted to slash the police department budget by $150 million called for police assistance eight times since April, including calls for protection from protesters at his home.
“A public records request reveals that LA city councilman Mike Bonin, who voted to defund LAPD by $150 million, has called LAPD to his home 8 times since 4/4/20, including to provide extra patrols and protection from peaceful protesters at his house,” Fox 11 Los Angeles reporter Bill Melugin tweeted Friday.
Bonin says some money slated for police should go to social programs that address racial and economic inequality.
“We need to drastically reprioritize to meet the demands, the dual demands of this moment, of both the pandemic we’re in and the civil unrest,” he says.
Bonin believes that the current operating procedures in place are not working and “given the crisis we are in, people in Los Angeles deserve different approaches” claiming that Los Angeles is “hungry for action” and “insistent on change.”
The truth about Bonin’s connection to the police was exposed by Fox News reporter Bill Melugin. He tweeted a link to the public records indicating that Bonin has called the police to his Venice Beach home eight times since April.
The records from LAPD show that the reason for Bonin’s calls varied from “protesters” on several occasions to “extra patrol” to the residence on other occasions. Police documents state specifically, “officers kept the peace with protestors in front of residence until protestors dispersed.”
However, Bonin denies that he made those calls to the LAPD. Instead, he argued that Melugin was wrong and that “this is as false as the tampon story you broke.”
He wrote, “I have NEVER asked LAPD for patrols at my house.”
He added, “When protests occurred at the homes of other elected officials and LAPD offered to send patrols to my home as a precaution, I specifically asked for no patrols at my home. Seven of the eight calls you cite were apparently generated by LAPD themselves, sending patrols without my request and often without my knowledge. The only time LAPD has come at my request was to pick up as evidence the syringes that one of the right-wing protesters left on our doorsteps.”
Although Melugin seemed to have caught Bonin in a trap, the Los Angeles councilor stated otherwise. Instead, he told the Fox News reporter that the only real crime that happened was when a conservative protestor left needles “on our doorsteps.”
“This is a cute tactic to try to silence or intimidate a public official who is standing up to the police union,” Bonin tweeted. “It ain’t working.”
Meanwhile, the president of the Los Angeles city council, Nury Martinez, was criticized by the city’s police union in June after it was revealed that she had been receiving a personal security detail from the police paid for by taxpayers despite calling for the police budget to be cut.
“It’s kind of ironic. Here she is demanding $150 million be reallocated from the police budget, but yet, she has security at her house by the Los Angeles Police Department,” the director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, Jamie McBride, said about Martinez’s security detail.