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COALITION ACTIVITIES—October 31, 2021

Dear friends, this week the coalition released a brand new zine, continued the fight against Data Informed Community Focused Policing, and met with some powerful youth at Roosevelt High School.

This past Tuesday’s Data Driven Policing Webinar focused on our upcoming report, some new findings about the LAPD’s SARA policing model, and a glance at our brand new zine, LAPD’s Budget Creep. After revisiting the Coalition’s guiding principles, Coalition members provided a sneak peek of our upcoming report, “Automating Banishment: The Policing and Surveillance of Looted Land.” We discussed what our intentions are when rolling out the report ahead of its 11/8 release date, and how community members will be able to access the report. We reviewed the report’s demands and Cris, who developed the report’s website, showed attendees some of the striking visuals included in the site’s map. The Coalition will be announcing more ways you can help amplify the report in the coming days. We were also joined by Sophie of Free Rads who discussed and presented a new zine released this week.

Tiff presented an educational visual on the LAPD’s implementation of the SARA model.  SARA is a policing model that stands for Scanning Analysis Response and Assessment. It utilizes surveillance through technological and analog means in order to criminalize community members more easily. The LAPD most recently openly talked about its utilization in the Echo Park After Action Report. After receiving some new documents regarding the SARA model, the Coalition was able to learn more about this intelligence led policing effort and strengthen our collective fight to abolish the police.

The Coalition continues to monitor the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners weekly Tuesday meetings. This last week’s agenda included a disgusting “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” plan that was a direct response to Garcetti’s reform efforts following last year’s uprisings. While the notion, on its own, that the LAPD could EVER embody ideals like equity and inclusion is gross and hurtful to all those harmed by their violence, the LAPD decided to add insult to injury by thanking one of the officers who murdered Grechario Mack in this report. Grechario Mack was a young Black man murdered by the LAPD inside the Crenshaw Mall in 2018. Sgt. Ryan Lee fired the final shot murdering Grechario Mack and was even found out of policy by the historically complicit Board of Police Commissioners for that shot. The Coalition will continue to attend these meetings and keep us informed on any new developments.

This week, the Coalition in collaboration with our comrades at Free Rads released our latest zine, LAPD’s Budget Creep, a hilariously illustrated look into the shadowy and seemingly nonsensical LAPD Budgeting process. This zine is part of our ongoing Defund Surveillance campaign, that works to dissect and defund the LAPD’s $3.1B budget. Our zine highlights how the LAPD budget has ballooned under Garcetti and examines how the LAPD’s Budget creeps into and syphons resources away from other departments. Click here to view the zine! In the zine we talk about how the Coalition successfully sued multiple city agencies to get the full LAPD budget. We invite anyone with a keen eye for accounting or an interest in understanding the budget to better defund and dismantle the police to come examine these budget documents with us. 

On Wednesday we met with Michael Williams of BLM-LA to discuss the recent developments with ShotSpotter in Pasadena. The Pasadena City Council recently passed a 3 year contract with ShotSpotter which would implement their surveillance technologies in the predominately Black and Brown Northwest area of Pasadena. We discussed potential strategies to discredit ShotSpotter and educate community members in the Pasadena area. While outing ShotSpotter as an ineffective and racist system is our primary goal, this is also an opportunity to build collective power against the police surveillance state in these communities. We will share ongoing updates in this fight as they develop. 

On Thursday 10/28, Coalition members had our first meeting with students from Roosevelt High School who will be helping us with our ongoing archiving project. These brilliant youth are trained in the use of ArcGIS, a mapping software program, and they intend to use this specialized training to help our efforts in developing our archiving project. After introductions, the Coalition answered questions about our inception, our mission, and our structure. We also spent time talking about future opportunities to develop youth oriented resources, as well as expose these students to the work the Coalition has completed. We look forward to working with them!

That’s it for this week. We look forward to sharing our collective fight with you again, next week.