Dani Jo, 31, of Kensington, with Black Lives Matter, holds her sign as she joins protesters organized by the interfaith group POWER outside Philadelphia City Hall, Thursday, April 19, 2018, rallying against the decision of officers to arrest two black men at a Center City Starbucks last week. (Tom Gralish/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
Black Lives Matter got some love in Los Angeles Tuesday via the success of a BLM leader’s ballot initiated.
Courtesy of the movement’s Patrisse Cullors, the law will bring big changes to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Measure R grants an LASD civilian oversight committee the power to independently subpoena material or witnesses relevant to its investigations.
Furthermore, the mandate calls for that commission to formulate a plan for cutting the LA county jail population by offering alternatives to imprisonment.
If you’re wondering about the scope involved, consider that the LASD serves 42 cities and maintains the largest jail system — as per The Daily Wire — in the entire world.
Up-to-date accounting reveals the proposal won by 71% at the ballot box.
“Yes on R” Campaign Chair Patrisse tweeted victory, spiced with a nod to Bernie and a shake for Biden:
“Measure R is now law. We will use it to hold the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department accountable, and we will use it to make sure LA county continues to move forward with a care first jail never ethos. @ewarren and @BernieSanders endorsed @ReformLAJails”
@JoeBiden did not.
Measure R is now law. We will use it to hold the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department accountable, and we will use it to make sure LA county continues to move forward with a care first jail never ethos. @ewarren and @BernieSanders endorsed @ReformLAJails @JoeBiden did not.
— patrisse cullors (@OsopePatrisse) March 4, 2020
“Measure R is a win for the people,” said @osopepatrisse, chair. “What we’re seeing is people wanting to have some form of accountability and casting their ballot to ensure that it happens.”#YESonR! https://t.co/dEdpQYhS2s
— Reform LA Jails (@ReformLAJails) March 5, 2020
Turns out Patrisse isn’t a huge fan of law enforcement or prisons.
if we don't want money going into law enforcement. fight to dismantle them. thats what i do. im just saying.
— patrisse cullors (@OsopePatrisse) November 2, 2016
Hmmm…if all law enforcement was “dismantled,” I wonder if we’d be a hair away from a safe society.
Either way, some are psyched about the new “accountability”:
“On March 3rd, we win. On March 4th, we keep fighting.” The now-victorious @OsopePatrisse, on the accountability that her Measure R will bring to Los Angeles County—and the struggles yet to come. My interview with her and #YesOnR supporter Natalie Portman. https://t.co/LC4DUhl3r8
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) March 4, 2020
And the “freedom”:
I’m so grateful for you. Believed in the vision from the beginning and stayed the damn course. Truly humbled. You will win tonight. R will win tonight. And we will get a step closer to freedom!!! https://t.co/OeEV1XdVrI
— patrisse cullors (@OsopePatrisse) March 3, 2020
Chelsea Handler’s a fan:
Hey LA County: let’s do our community a favor and vote YES on #MeasureR today. It would save money and lives by reforming LA’s over-used jail system. Get more info at https://t.co/GLndVEknDY and go vote! #SuperTuesday
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) March 3, 2020
And related: booting out the district attorney:
VOTE YES ON MEASURE R & NO ON D.A. JACKIE LACEY. pic.twitter.com/V36l2O7jKn
— Nicole Paulhus (@nlpaulhus) March 3, 2020
See a lot more about Jackie, her husband, and a gun here (at publication time, the jury’s still out on her re-election).
As for the end of cops and cells with bars, it’s not a new idea.
In 2017, at a private event emceed by Patrisse, 60’s activist Dr. Angela Davis trumpeted the end of police, prisons, and capitalism:
“You can’t simply focus myopically on one thing and say ‘get rid of slavery,’ or ‘get rid of prisons,’ or ‘get rid of the police.’ Abolition asks us to think about what it is we need to do to transform the entire context, the entire society.
“We were thinking about trying to change vocabularies, and the term that we introduced at that time was the ‘prison industrial complex.’ That gives us the opportunity to talk about racism. That allows us to talk about the economy and the role that capitalist corporations play, particularly in the context of global capitalism – which is really responsible for the proliferation of prisons all over the world. Because you need a place for people that are rendered ‘surplus’ by the kinds of economies that are created by capitalist corporations.”
Patrisse told the crowd:
“I am an abolitionist. I’m going to proclaim it and shout it and remind people.”
As for LASD oversight, she has certainly shouted. And voters in LA have shouted back. With a Yes.
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