As thousands of people take to the streets nationwide protesting racism and police brutality, law enforcement finds itself under a lens of scrutiny never seen before in the history of the United States. Los Angeles has seen some of the largest demonstrations in the country, with more planned. Protestors, activists, and some politicians are calling for the removal of officers from schools, the expansion of community policing and, most commonly, defunding the police to pay for social programs.
“I think the movement to defund the police is irresponsible. I think it’s dangerous,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told L.A. Weekly publisher, Brian Calle, during an exclusive, longform interview on L.A. Weekly’s Weekly Podcast.
“At the end of the day everyone wants someone to show up when they call 911, and they don’t want a social worker to show up when they call 911, and that is the bottom line,” Villanueva said. “If these people are so confident in their movement, they need to put it on a ballot and let the entire community vote on it and we’ll see what the results are.”