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A special meeting was held on Tuesday night to discuss public safety without policing, and the broken trust between the community and law enforcement.

Ward AME Church was at capacity as Justice not Jails and the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity joined together with several community organizations to host a National Night Out for Safety and Liberation.

“One of the issues was how do we reduce this violence, and what can we, particularly in the Black and Brown communities of Los Angeles, do ourselves to remove heavy policing in our community,” said Rev. Art Cribbs, executive director of Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity.

The use of public funds was a key conversation, and there was a discussion about “the Los Angeles City and the Los Angeles County public budget being bloated with expenses paid to the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department,” Cribbs said. “There needs to be greater balance with the use of public funds. Balance that includes meeting some of the social and economic needs in communities where there is over-policing. Mental health services in communities that have been devastated by drug abuse. The importation of drugs into the community. Planted there. Distributed there. The importation of guns in the hands of children. And the creation of violent gangs.”

One of the ways that Cribbs wants to solve this issue is by getting the community more involved in the political process.

“We’re looking for increased voter registration and participation, so that people who live here will have a greater voice,” Cribbs said. “We’re also saying that we need to honor the sacrifices made by people who gave up their lives, who went to jail, who were beaten, who suffered, to gain the right to vote for all Black people and people of color in the United States.”