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Weekly Update – March 17, 2023

Greetings, here’s what we’ve been up to:

On Tuesday (3/14) we attended the first in-person Board of Police Commissioners meeting in 3 years. The meeting, held in LAPD Headquarters, was an absolute sham. President Briggs started the meeting by disparaging community members speaking out against police violence. Chief Moore then used his report period to revisit the discussion on LAPD’s acquisition of the robot dog, condemning city council’s inability to approve it. Our very own Hamid Khan was removed from the meeting for asking a simple question about  Briggs’ statements. You can watch video of his removal here.

Later that day, the Coalition and LA CAN tuned into City Council’s Public Safety Committee meeting. On the agenda was the confirmation of two of Mayor Bass’ appointments for the Board of Police Commissioners. The first, Rasha Shields, is a former prosecutor and sat on the advisory board meant to implement reforms following the George Floyd uprising. The other, Errol Southers, is a former FBI agent and “extremist” specialist who teaches at USC. His research focuses on criminalizing Black immigrant communities as “homegrown” terrorists. We also spoke out against $1.5M in federal funding to centralize LAPD”s surveillance capabilities using Axon body worn video, digital in-car video and their cloud service,  LA CAN spoke out against a motion providing overtime funding for LAPD officers to enforce violent sweeps on the unhoused. As we’ve stated before the Public Safety Committee is stacked with LAPD lapdogs, so all these motions were passed.

That evening we held our monthly War on Youth webinar, where the working group discussed Errol Southers’ history and what his appointment to the BOPC means for the future of LAPD’s PATHE program.

On Wednesday (3/15), we continued our residency with students from Stem to the Future. This week we held a collaborative class with the first through third graders, during which we discussed Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. The students played a game of hide and seek illustrating how the cutting down of trees facilitates surveillance in our neighborhoods.

Thursday’s (3/16) episode of Radio Insurrection featured special guest Tauheedah of the Youth Justice Coalition. Hamid and Tauheedah, organizing director with YJC, discussed YJC’s history and what the future of YJC looks like.

The second half of the radio show was a conversation led by Hamid Khan with Pete White and Matyos Kidane on the past week’s developments around policing in Los Angeles. 

On Friday the Coalition held a press conference to announce, our brand new cop watch tool. We also announced a lawsuit we filed against LAPD demanding the height and weight of LAPD officers. You can watch excerpts from the press conference here.

To plug in with any of the work groups listed above, or for more information about the Stop
LAPD Spying Coalition, email us at [email protected].

If you or your organization are interested in hosting a teach-in or discussion regarding our report, Automating Banishment, please fill out this google form.