sahra Profile picture
21 Feb, 40 tweets, 11 min read
I don't have an opinion on what CM Raman's vote should've been, but I do have some thoughts on the process itself that put her in the position of having to vote on something she did not support b/c she didn't have an alternative paradigm she could vote for instead. [Deep breath]
First - she was voting on whether or not to approve $9mil for the continuation of the Community Safety Partnership (CSP) program in housing developments. The renegotiation of that five-year MOA had been in the works for much of last year. (see doc below)…
Moreover, Garcetti had not only reaffirmed his commitment to CSP last summer (below), he committed to institutionalizing CSP by bringing it into the heart of the dept. There is no alternative that the city has seriously contemplated that is not police-led.
There was no alternative for her to look to. Meaning that if there had been a successful “no” vote getting CSP out of the developments, it would likely have resulted in one of two worse outcomes, or a combination of both...
namely, a) More aggressive surveillance and suppressive engagement from gang police who don’t know the community as well and/or b) Little to no policing at all…both of which describe how the developments were policed prior to the creation of CSP.
All while the safe passage work and youth programs (the Girl Scouts, etc.) that CSP assists with shrank or disappeared.
To be *very* clear, that is **not** an argument for the CSP to remain or for these programs to continue to be police-led.
But it does bear mentioning that one of the problems the votes on police have come up against thus far is that the work has not yet been done to offer up alternatives to fill the gap left by the police, or in this case, CSP.
Motions for some alternative programs introduced last summer (e.g. getting police out of traffic enforcement) have yet to resurface.…
And the city has yet to commit to investing in creating comprehensive infrastructure (beyond GRYD) to support interventionists in expanding the scope of their work.
CD8's MHD has launched a welcome pilot program that included healing circles etc., for ex., but much more needs to be done by the city to give interventionists the resources they need to do the work in a sustainable and scalable way.
When council had the opp. to channel the $ diverted from the 👮 budget twd addressing the root causes of the issues we normally turn to 👮 for, only MHD earmarked $ for reentry, etc. Much of the rest went to beautification & legacy-enhancement (ahem, Ryu).
There’s been little to no extended discussion within council regarding what residents of developments - where entrenched gang presences can mean they do not always feel safe stepping outside their front door or using the developments’ facilities - actually want or need.
It was the gap in protection of the residents that had led to the creation of the CSP in the first place.
Back in 1991, the Jordan Downs unit that 65yo Juan Zuniga and his extended family were assigned to had already been claimed as a spot for drug dealing. Over the ~6mos the family lived there, they were subjected to constant harassment & threats, and were assaulted multiple times.
HACLA was profoundly negligent, not even attempting to transfer the Zunigas to another unit. Instead, when the housing authority police did come out to respond to the latest assault, the officers were observed greeting the folks that were tormenting the Zunigas.
Threatened w/ retaliation for having called the 👮, the Zunigas begged for an emergency transfer that weekend. Instead, members of Grape St poured gasoline through the Zunigas’ mail slot and set the unit on 🔥, killing 5 family members, incl. 3 toddlers.…
Efforts to figure out who was responsible for the incident also underscored the complicated tensions between the Black and Latino communities in the developments as Watts' demographics changed.
It also did not help that a family member (Latino) also shot a Black neighbor who was trying to help rescue them from the fire. [Sorry to have to repost these 😬 headlines/'s what's available]…
The tensions sparked by the integration of the developments was not limited to Watts. A year after the Zunigas were firebombed, members of Big Hazard firebombed Black families in Ramona Gardens.…
Although the CA Supreme Court found HACLA legally responsible to provide “safe public housing” for residents, free of “dangerous conditions” in the Zuniga case in 1995, it did little to change things.
Instead, LAPD continued to let HACLA’s own police take the lead in the developments until 2003, when HUD funding for HACLA’s police dried up, forcing HACLA to disband the force.
Residents were concerned about what would come next for least the HACLA 👮 knew them & were on-site 24-7. Some feared LAPD would not be able to cover those gaps (esp. at night) or that they would come at the community in an adversarial way.…
Even without an explicit CSP-type program, HACLA was paying LAPD for its services. In 2004-05, the cost of having LAPD at the developments was estimated to be around $3mil. [HACLA covered ~half of that]…
But w/out any explicit plan for addressing residents’ safety, new arrivals @ the dvpmts cont'd to report being targeted for robbery/intimidation. The last straw finally came in 2010, when members of the PJs attacked a Korean family & tried to rape the daughter in Imperial Courts.
W/ the leverage of the '95 Zuniga ruling & the momentum of her '07 report calling for the abandonment of the war on gangs, civil rts atty Connie Rice told then-Chief Beck that the situation was no longer tenable - that HACLA was obligated to provide its residents w/ safe housing.
20 yrs after the Zunigas were attacked, CSP finally came into being. It began with 45 👮 in the three Watts developments (and partially in the Haciendas) and Ramona Gardens (Hollenbeck), annoying CMs b/c HACLA wouldn't be paying enough to cover its costs.…
Folks who follow me may have seen a previous thread I did on CSP where I talked about some of its benefits and some of the questions that weren't getting attention. Find that here:
In the context of the discussion of CM Raman's vote and the concerns about it, I want to underscore that CSP was not a panacea by any stretch...
A few years ago, friends in the Haciendas had to vacate their apt for several months b/c one of the HVBs had jumped on the hood of their car to intimidate them. That guy then later fired a gun at their apt window, leaving a mark in one of the bars that is still visible today.
The two sons of the family, who were in their teens at the time, had had to negotiate w/ HVB members so their family could move back in & live in peace. Later, it wasn’t CSP who helped build a more friendly relationship btwn one of the sons & some of the HVB members, it was me.
Tensions had been so high w/in the development that the son didn't even know his HVB neighbors despite having lived there most of his life - they didn't acknowledge him...wouldn't even nod at him. It had made living there incredibly uncomfortable for him.
I asked him if he wanted to come with me as I did interviews. It turned out to be a game changer. As he got to know them and they got to know him, they looked out for him a little more. They even asked about his college plans and would tell me they thought he was a good kid.
His quality of life was enhanced by knowing his neighbors and by having them know him. Not by being under even greater surveillance.
As some critics have complained, it is no doubt CSP who helped ID an HVB OG who sold drugs across the street frm that family's home (but which the son had also really come to like b/c he was such a nice guy & calming presence) and got him put away for a few yrs on a bogus charge.
Some officers w/in CSP have actively targeted gang members for harassment, as happened in South Park, getting one young man picked up for supposed parole violations multiple times just because a power-tripping officer knew that he could.
Which is in & of itself a corruption of the spirit of the prog., which was to end the war on gang youth & to recognize the structural factors that had ltd their options. But which is also likely what you’re going to get when your prog. is police-led, regardless of its intentions.
But even w/ all that, having 👮 who know the community & have some relationships is preferable to the gang suppression work that's led to the deaths of Andrés Guardado, Fred Williams, Dijon Kizzee, Keith Bursey, Carnell Snell, A.J. Weber & so many others…
So while it's genuinely admirable that CM Raman is reflecting on what her vote meant, I’d rather see council addressing the piecemeal way this city is engaging the legacy of policing and advocating for the process to take a more comprehensive approach to solutions.
There's so much to be done and so many folks on the ground that are eager to be of assistance in helping their communities rise. We need to hear more about how we're going to lift them up. Til now, we've mostly heard the mayor coasting on Summer Night Lights.

Thanks for reading.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with sahra

sahra Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @sahrasulaiman

19 Feb
I remember this column. It was deeply troubling, but she wasn't alone in her verdict. Also troubling was the outsized attention and sentencing seen here b/c it happened on USC campus; shootings elsewhere around South L.A. were largely ignored.…
The case was also used to justify more aggressive policing of the community around USC in 2013... something which USC is only now finally beginning to re-examine, eight years later.…
I had, however, forgotten she had quoted the Murder Cop of all people. And that she had said things like "It would be naive to write this off as just a gang or ghetto problem." It's so much worse than I remember.… ImageImage
Read 4 tweets
15 Feb
Some important new details that raise questions about a) why it took a bunch of teens of privilege to raise the alarm about McNeil and b) why the NYT continues to think Ben Smith is the one who should be reporting on the intersection of race and media
It's not surprising that the guy who dedicated a column to why he wouldn't stop reading Andrew Sullivan despite the man's affinity for race science and his overt bigotry would write this, but it's still surprising that he has this job.
Read 5 tweets
14 Feb
I wrote 250 pgs of my dissertation on this topic and finally walked away in frustration in 2011 b/c of how difficult it was to get this message across in a way my advisors saw as valid.…
I remember one prof I particularly don’t care for telling me that if I couldn’t reduce my argument to a linear diagram I didn’t have an argument.
Another, who I thought would be more sympathetic, dismissed me by asking if NGOs and int’l “emergencies” weren’t “very 1990s” and therefore out of fashion to study.
Read 6 tweets
12 Feb
man, the aggressive masklessness is 👀
it's wild to me, too, because Ofcr. Deon Joseph chronicled just how low COVID laid him on twitter. there are folks within the dept. that understand how serious the disease is. ImageImageImage
LASD recently participated in a SEB tactical medicine training with agencies from around the state. It was a ***medical*** training. The accompanying tweet w/ these photos said "Saving Lives Priority 1". They were proud til I called the masklessness out...
Read 4 tweets
21 Jan
the very first public comment was a #notallwhitepeople statement from Steve Sann who wanted credit for white people helping elect Tom Bradley to mayor back in the day.
folks have *1 minute* to offer comment on how their communities are being impacted by complex historical processes. which meant that Tim Watkins was cut off while talking abt Watts' challenges while white westsiders are calling in to complain about being gentrified by tall bldgs.
a woman calling from Crenshaw was trying to explain some of the ways which folks are being pushed out of the area and was cut off midway through.
Read 38 tweets
19 Jan
South L.A., this is starting now... they just asked listeners to guess how many uses of force there were last year like it was a quiz show. [I'm recording it and only tuning in and out while working on something else, but that caught my ear.]
Now they're quizzing listeners on how many times they used force when dealing with folks having some sort of mental health or nonviolent emergency (e.g. were inebriated).
I get what they're doing - trying to constrast folks' expectations of uses of force with the number of encounters they have and how many times force is actually used to suggest they practice great restraint.
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!