Protesters angry over school police weapons plan to disrupt LAUSD board committee meeting
Mike Szymanski | February 22, 2016
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A group of community activists including students and parents plan to disrupt LA Unified’s Committee of the Whole on Tuesday afternoon to protest weapons on school campuses.
Fight for the Soul of the Cities is protesting the federal government’s 1033 Program, which outfitted school police with machine guns and other weapons. The local civil rights group is asking that the school district account for all weapons the school police have on campuses as well as those from the federal program that remain, which they want destroyed.
The LA school police — the largest school police force in the nation and fifth-largest police force in California — possessed three grenade launchers, a mine-resistant vehicle and dozens of M-16s. In response to criticism, LA Unified got rid of the grenade launchers and vehicle it had obtained through the program but kept the assault rifles. The federal government also severely restricted the program.
The group disrupted the full school board meeting for about 20 minutes in July, and board members went to talk to the activists afterward.
The protest is planned for 4:30 p.m. at the school board headquarters. The group will also present to the Committee of the Whole, which usually has all the school board members in attendance. The meeting, at the district headquarters, starts at 2 p.m.
*Note: This article has been updated with a revised time for Tuesday’s protest.