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The council approved the cut with 12-2 vote

The Democrat-controlled Los Angeles City Council voted 12-2 Wednesday to slash $150 million from the Los Angeles Police Department’s budget, according to local reports.

The only opposing votes came from Councilmen John Lee, a former Republican-turned-independent, and Joe Buscaino, a Democrat and former police officer. Those in favor of cutting the police budget are all Democrats. The Budget and Finance Committee had approved the cuts earlier this week.

Buscaino, in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Daily News on Monday, defended the LAPD and argued that cutting its budget would be counterproductive.

“We should and we must invest in communities of color,” he wrote. “But that task becomes exponentially harder when we are cutting slices of the budget from a smaller and smaller pie.”

Since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day, criticism against police has spiked around the country, along with calls to reform or defund departments.

A big chunk of the reduction in LA will come from overtime spending, the Los Angeles Times reported.

By next summer, the force will be trimmed down to 9,757 officers, cutting staffing to its lowest level in more than a decade, according to the report. The funds will be diverted toward preventing the furloughs of other city employees or reinvested in minority communities.

“This is a step forward, supporting minority communities in ways in which they deserve — with respect, dignity and an even playing field,” said Councilman Curren Price, a backer of the cuts.

The city’s 2020-2021 fiscal budget is expected to be around $10.5 billion, according to CBS Los Angeles.

Faced with “constant verbal battering,” protests and the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League on Tuesday said the morale of rank-and-file LAPD officers has plummeted in recent weeks.

And the budget slashing came a day after council members approved a plan to replace some police officers with unarmed first responders.

Separately, the city’s public school system also slashed its police budget. And Los Angeles County CEO Sachi Hamai has proposed cutting tens of millions of dollars from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

Author: Michael Ruiz

Source: Fox News: LA City Council approves cutting $150M from LAPD

They hacked off his head in Boston, threw him in a lake in Richmond, Va., drenched him in red paint in Miami, and dragged him down from his pedestal in St. Paul, Minn.

Protesters in cities around the United States have been tearing down, defacing and otherwise vandalizing statues of Christopher Columbus as an offshoot of the protests over George Floyd’s death.

In St. Paul, news crews stood just a few feet away recording video as protesters tied a rope around a statue and pulled it down from its base at the steps of the State Capitol Wednesday.

A group of demonstrators had promised earlier in the day to tear down the statue, Minneapolis-based Fox 9 reported. After tying a rope to the statue and dragging it down, the protesters reportedly danced and spit on it. Video shows one man posing for news cameras with his foot on the back of the statue’s head.

In Boston, police opened an investigation Wednesday after the namesake statue in the city’s Christopher Columbus Park was beheaded overnight.

Photos from the scene show the statue surrounded in police tape and Columbus’ head on the ground next to an evidence marker.

In downtown Miami, a Columbus statue had its head and face painted red, according to images posted on Twitter by WSVN reporter Franklin White. There was also graffiti along the base that included “George Floyd,” “BLM” (Black Lives Matter), and depictions of a hammer and sickle.

And in Richmond, where a judge on Tuesday issued a temporary injunction against the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, protesters pulled down a Columbus statue, lit it on fire and then tossed it into Fountain Lake.

During that incident — which reportedly followed a peaceful protest for indigenous people — the statue’s base was also spray painted and someone left a cardboard sign on top of it that read “Columbus represents genocide.”

The defaced pedestal where a statue of Christopher Columbus once stood is seen at Byrd Park in Richmond, Va. Tuesday, June 9, 2020. The statue was torn down by protesters, set on fire and then thrown into a lake. News outlets report the figure was toppled less than two hours after protesters gathered in the city’s Byrd Park Tuesday chanting for the statue to be taken down. (Mark Gormus/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Columbus was an Italian Renaissance-era explorer who led the expedition that preceded the European colonization of North and South America — and, as a result, he has been both celebrated and denounced as a historical figure.

There is also a movement that calls for the replacement of Columbus Day with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”

Fox News’ Greg Norman and Brie Stimson contributed to this report.

Author: Michael Ruiz

Source: Fox News: Christopher Columbus statues torn down, drenched in paint, defaced in cities across country

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