My cousin is a cop up in Northern California. We disagree on just about everything political, but I tell you what: he is out there, working hard and doing his best, every day. I respect him with every fiber of my being, just like I respect the dedicated men and women who risk their lives every day to keep the rest of us safe here in LA.
On January 5, voters were treated to a multi-tweet rant from Mike Bonin decrying the Los Angeles Police Department and pushing his anti-public safety agenda. His tweets were full lies, so let’s set the record straight:
Lie Number 1:
TRUTH: In 2020, Mr. Bonin voted to defund LAPD by $150 million dollars. As a result of his actions, the LAPD lost nearly 800 sworn officers, which drastically reduced resources for gang and narcotics enforcement, robbery, homicide, patrol, and other specialty details like animal cruelty, sexual assault, and the human trafficking task force. Our neighborhoods are in fact less safe: between December 5, 2021 and January 1, 2022, there were a total of 31 murders, 57 rapes, 698 robberies, and 1, 214 aggravated assaults across our City.¹ In fact, there were nearly 400 murders in LA in 2021, the most in over a decade.²
Lie Number 2:
TRUTH: Mike Bonin has “reimagined” us into the dystopian nightmare many of us are living in, especially in our most vulnerable communities.³ When you take away police and hamper their ability to enforce criminal laws, there is more crime and communities are less safe. That is not a false narrative. It’s reality. The false narrative is that we can’t both keep our communities safe and make sure our criminal justice system is fair. As an aside, LAPD is one of the most diverse law enforcement departments in the country: over 6,500 of LAPD’s officers are men and women of color, and the 2020 Academy was the most diverse group of recruits in LAPD history.⁴
Lie Number 3:
TRUTH: Of course we need investment in jobs, housing, healthcare, education, and opportunity. But it’s not a zero sum game. There is plenty of money for all of those things and public safety. We just need leaders who don’t squander our money, like Mr. Bonin’s ridiculous million dollar beds in the Venice Median project.
Lie Number 4:
TRUTH: The re-fund here is actually just a raise on the cut. When you lose hundreds of officers, especially those with many years of knowledge and experience, it’s hard to replace them. You don’t just fill out a job application and get a badge and a gun. The process takes 18-24 months to get a new officer “street ready.” And imagine trying to hire officers in a City where people like Mike Bonin post things like “F*uck the Police” on social media. Would you work there? By the way, overtime spending was higher because there weren’t enough people to do the job.
Lie Number 5:
TRUTH: Venice Beach was just named the most dangerous beach in the entire United States.⁵ If police leadership is warning visitors to stay away, there’s a reason. Take a browse of the City’s crime data for yourself.
Lie Number 6:
TRUTH: Many cities that jumped on the defund bandwagon in 2020 are now restoring funding, and then some. Why? Because where there is a lack of police, there is more crime.⁶ We tried it, it didn’t work. Let’s just be honest and fix it.
Lie Number 7:
TRUTH: Back in 2017, Mike Bonin ran on a campaign promise of providing more patrols and police in our communities. He stated in 2019, “Increasing patrol presence helps prevent crime, reduces 911 response times, and forges better relationships between officers and neighbors.”⁷ Was he lying then, or is he lying now? He complains that he has nothing to show but “small pilot programs and stalled legislative efforts.” He’s been sitting in the Council seat for a decade. The failure is his to own.
Lie Number 8:
TRUTH: We actually do need big investments in jobs, education, mental health & drug treatment, housing, youth programs, violence interruption, and income assistance. But for years, Mike Bonin has repeatedly denied that there is any link between addiction, mental health, homelessness, and crime. Notably, when Venice residents asked for a sober living or domestic violence shelter, he said no. Now that there’s a recall, he cares about making those investments?
Lie Number 9:
TRUTH: For starters, policing is prevention. City spending has absolutely nothing to do with the County’s Measure J funds. The vast majority of funding for mental health and addiction comes from the County, unrelated to LAPD’s budget. And, most funds for housing is coming from the State and the federal government, not the City’s general fund. Plus, the Olympics, a once or twice in a lifetime event for Angelinos, is a pretty good reason to be a world-class, safe City, not an excuse for doubling down on failed policies.
Lie Number 10:
TRUTH: These aren’t false narratives, and it’s not about “frightening the public.” These are very real experiences for businesses who have been robbed, residents who have been assaulted, beaten and maimed, and children who have had to deal with the daily trauma of unsafe school perimeters. He did get one thing right here: the constituents in CD-11 are all about “upending our politics.”
We’ve had it with his lies and failed policies, and we’re going to replace him with a representative who shares CD-11 values on public safety.
It’s going to be a long slog to the election, friends. Hang in there, and continue doing your best. I’ll always do the same.