Tanisha Denard, (310) 400-4768
Maritza Galvez, (323) 706-1780
Or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Los Angeles Youth Demand that Police Commission Protect and Invest in Young People
What: 9:30AM LAPD Police Commission Hearing followed by Statement to the Media at 12:00PM
Where: LAPD Headquarters, 100 West First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Who: Youth who have been regularly impacted by aggressive policing and the lack of investment in communities.
Youth will appeal to the LA Police Commissioners and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck for protection and financial support to prevent and reduce youth arrest, detention and incarceration, as well as use of force against LA residents. Black and brown youth are the overwhelming victims of both aggressive policing and an over-reliance on spending for law enforcement – currently nearly 54% of the City budget. The LAPD budget is 70 times higher than what Los Angeles spends on youth development! And this year, Mayor Garcetti has proposed a $180 million increase to the police budget.
The Youth Justice Coalition is calling for:
1. The Police Commission to support the LA for Youth Campaign – create a City Department for Youth Development and transfer of 5% of the LAPD and City Attorney’s budget to provide funding for 30 comprehensive youth centers, 15,000 city-funded youth jobs and 350 intervention workers/peacebuilders in schools and communities. The youth will also share specific budget data and a draft report with the Commission outlining their arguments – Building a Positive Future for LA Youth. The LA for Youth Campaign is endorsed by more than 100 organizations.
2. The Police Commission to endorse Senate Bill 1286 (Leno) that will greatly increase transparency in police records allowing for greater oversight and accountability of law enforcement in order to improve service to and treatment of communities of color, and reduce law enforcement use of force resulting in serious injury and death.
3. The Police Commission to endorse Assembly Bill 2298 (Weber) that will establish the right for people to be notified if they are added to a shared gang database, right to appeal their designation, and that will require the state Department of Justice to release data annually on how many people are added and removed from shared gang databases each year.
4. The Police Commission to endorse Senate Bill 1052 (Lara) that requires that all tyouth under 18 must have a meaningful opportunity to talk to a lawyer prior to any interrogation by law enforcement and ensures that youth can not waive their miranda rights.
Greater funding and transparency is essential to ensuring that LA becomes a place where all youth have an opportunity to succeed, are prepared for college and a career, and have a future beyond a dangerous job in the underground economy, beyond debilitating, underpaid and undervalued work, beyond death in the streets or life behind bars.
Background: The City Los Angeles (and the surrounding region including 88 cities, 138 unincorporated areas and 81 school districts that make up LA County) represents the richest economy in the United States, and contributes greatly to California’s position as the 7th richest economy in the world. LA has long been recognized as the Entertainment Capital of the World, has more than 100 museums, is the largest government center in the nation outside of Washington DC, has more than 87,000 fashion jobs, 700,000 health and biomedical jobs, and 190,000 aerospace and technology jobs – including the recent tech explosion in Silicon Beach. Los Angeles boasts many of the world’s richest zip codes, and is home to more millionaires and billionaires than any other city on the planet. Nearly 50 million tourists visit the region each year, pouring nearly $20 billion annually into the Los Angeles economy.
But, throughout the history of Los Angeles, youth of color have been:
Locked out of wealth, resources and opportunities, locked out of schools that are too quick to suspend and expel students, and bolt their doors at 3:30pm, eliminating any opportunities for greater community use of their facilities, and locked out of much that LA has to offer, because youth lack access to free public transportation;
Locked in geographically isolated, under-resourced and often violent neighborhoods, locked in their homes without adult guidance and support, and without safe, supervised spaces for youth after school, on weekends and during summer months, locked in to debilitating labels that are hard to shake – “gang member, teen parent, school drop-out, runaway youth, at-risk youth” – and that often lead to police tracking and surveillance through mechanisms such as gang databases; and literally locked in through the use of house arrest, gang injunctions, or other suppression strategies; and
Locked up as Los Angeles has long led the nation in detention, incarceration and deportation.
LA’s long targeting of youth of color for suppression and incarceration has had even more devastating consequences. LA suffers BY FAR the highest rates of law enforcement use of force resulting in homicide in the nation. More than 670 people – the majority Black and Brown young people under the age of 30 – have been killed by LA law enforcement since 2000.