The union representing rank-and-file Los Angeles Police Department officers rejected a "Protect Our Profession" proposal, which aimed to raise $10 million in union dues to support candidates in 2022 elections who oppose the "defund the police" movement.
Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents approximately 9,800 officers, asked members to approve the plan last month that would have collected $22 per paycheck over a nearly two-year period, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
"Input from the membership during the assessment process underscored the strong desire to continue amplifying our efforts to protect our profession and public safety in Los Angeles in a manner that is more comprehensive than what was originally planned," the union board of directors said in a statement. "As such, the Board of Directors is reviewing additional options to ensure the interests of our membership and the public are fully protected at the local, state, and federal level."
The union declined to release election results, though voter turnout was lower than usual. Sources familiar with the matter told the Times the plan was rejected by a two-to-one margin.
Contrary to some local reports, union spokesman Dustin DeRollo told Fox News that the rejected plan was never intended to fight layoffs, and the assessment would have raised approximately $10 million for use in the 2022 elections at the state and local level.
"Layoff fight is happening right now. The money from the assessment wouldn't be raised in time to use for that issue–and the money raised was to support/oppose candidates and ballot measures," he explained over email. "The funds would have been used to support/oppose candidates and issues that impact policing, whether it be defunding, staffing, etc."
Following widespread rioting, looting and protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis in May while in police custody, the Los Angeles City Council voted in July to slash the LAPD budget by $150 million, putting the department on a path to having fewer officers than at any point since 2008.
In its first step, the city council moved to lay off 355 police officers and 273 civilian employees at the police department in order to eliminate an estimated $675-million budget shortfall.
In the 2022 municipal election, voters have the option to choose a new mayor, city attorney and eight members of the council. The Los Angeles Police Protective League continues its billboard campaign in five council districts focusing on the lack of public safety and budget cuts, as well as demanding that council members release a plan to lower the number of homicides.
Homicides in Los Angeles spiked by 38% in 2020, with nearly 100 additional victims compared to 2019.
DeRollo told Fox News that the rejected assessment "was strictly for additional political activity on top of normal LAPPL political efforts for the 2022 election" and "the vote has no impact on current LAPPL operations or political activity."
In addition to the billboards, DeRollo said the union will continue to operate and leverage the new digital editions to their website: www.WhereIsThePlan.com and www.WhereIsTheOutrageLA.com
The city council is also receiving pressure from Black Lives Matter and other grassroots organizations advocating to further slash the LAPD budget, and leftist groups have already claimed responsibility for the ouster of District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who lost re-election in November despite more than $1 million in backing from the police union. Activists also credited themselves with the election of urban planner Nithya Raman, who campaigned in favor of making LAPD a "much smaller specialized armed force."
Albert Corado, an abolish-police activist whose sister was killed outside a Trader Joe’s in 2018 as LAPD officers exchanged gunfire with an armed suspect who took staff and customers hostage, has already declared his candidacy in the 2020 city election.
He told the Times he spoke with three other council candidates who plan to run campaigns centering on defunding police. Corado added that his own campaign would be "actively hostile towards law enforcement."
"For me there’s really no other option. I’ve grown up here and I’ve seen the LAPD terrorize this city," he said.