Watch Violent Crime Skyrocket: LA City Council Moving Forward With Unarmed 'Crisis Response' Team

Screenshot, video from LAPD Harbor Division

Get ready for violent crime and assaults on officers to skyrocket in Los Angeles, where the City Council voted 14-0 to move forward with a program in which unarmed crisis response officers will respond to nonviolent calls for service.

With the unanimous vote, the Council will now “issue a request for proposal (RFP) for a non-profit partner to implement a pilot program, and in addition seek recommendations from relevant departments on creating a new classification of city employees that would be responsible for responding to nonviolent calls for service that are currently handled by police officers,” according to a press release.

Will their definition of “nonviolent” be the same as the definitions used to release “nonviolent” criminals from jail or prison, a policy that has led to a severe decline in public safety? (Insert eyeroll here.)

“Today marks a seminal moment in our City’s history in our efforts to reimagine public safety,” said Council President Nury Martinez in a press release. “Through this unarmed response pilot for non-violent calls, we will help Angelenos get the mental health and other support services they need from trained professionals. We will also free up police officers to do the work they are trained to do. Ultimately, this will also allow us to provide our Black and Brown communities with the resources they deserve.”

Oh, really, Ms. Martinez? How many times have you done ride-alongs with the officers in your district? There was a machete-wielding barricaded subject right there in your neighborhood not too long ago. Unarmed officers should be dispatched to get the person the help they need? Or how about this incident from last week in mid-city?

This woman got the attention of a passing motorist, and when he stopped, thinking she needed help, she slapped him. After he got out of the car she was up in his face, extremely confrontational, and extremely impaired by some drug. Then she threw the dog at him. Who knows what kind of deadly weapon she might have on her – a switchblade or other knife maybe? Assault on an animal is now a felony in California, but is it a nonviolent crime requiring an unarmed team to intervene and get her the help she needs?

And let’s not forget the incident last year in Hollywood in which a homeless, mentally ill man poured a bucket of diarrhea on a woman. And about a week after that, LAPD officers shot and killed a mentally ill, machete-wielding carjacker after attempting to use less-lethal force. Now, obviously that’s not a non-violent crime being committed, but it goes to show that getting help for severely mentally ill people can be a dangerous proposition.

Send some unarmed social workers here, Ms. Martinez, please.

The stupid quote of the day came from longtime City Councilmember Herb Wesson, who said:

“Calling the police on George Floyd about an alleged counterfeit $20 bill ended his life. If George Floyd had been met with unarmed, trained specialists for the nonviolent crime he was accused of, he would be turning 47 years old today. This plan will save lives, and I’m so proud of my colleagues on the Council for voting to move this forward.”

“This plan will save lives.”  Whose lives, Mr. Wesson?