The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday, September 29, voted for the Los Angeles Police Department to replenish the Environmental Equity and Justice Fund from City Councilor Curren Price’s office after using $ 1 million to help voters affected by a massive explosion triggered by an LAPD team bomb.
“In the three months since the LAPD fireworks explosion on 27th Street, my office was at the center of the disaster relief efforts, realizing early on that immediate monetary support was needed. to help the victims, ”Price said.
“Within weeks, my office had created a million dollar emergency relief fund that would help neighbors clean, repair, house long-term businesses, and secure financial assistance. I was clear about my position that funds taken from my office’s Reimagining Public Safety dollars should be reimbursed by the Los Angeles Police Department.
“My main interest has been in holding the LAPD accountable for its actions, which we did today in council by transferring over $ 1 million from the LAPD to the CD 9 community as planned. This morning, my colleagues joined me in standing up for our neighbors as we continue to seek justice for the victims of this tragedy. “
The fund will be replenished from “various LAPD expense accounts,” according to the motion.
The June 30 detonation of a large fireworks cache on East 27th Street near San Pedro Street sent 17 residents and first responders to hospitals, destroyed a bomb squad truck and damaged 22 residences, 13 businesses and 37 vehicles.
On September 21, Emergency Management Department General Manager Carol Parks told the Los Angeles Police Commission that 88 people are still being moved from their homes awaiting repairs.
On September 21, the Los Angeles City Council also passed legislation to identify $ 5 million – partly from the LAPD budget – to help residents recover.
According to Michael Hoffman, special agent in charge of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Los Angeles, the LAPD containment vessel was designed to handle repeated detonations of 19 pounds equivalent. TNT at a time or a single detonation of 33 pounds of explosives before being returned to its manufacturer for analysis.
However, the LAPD clearance team miscalculated the amount of fireworks placed in a containment vessel, resulting in a massive explosion that damaged several homes in South Los Angeles. Officers loaded the truck with 39.85 pounds of explosives, Hoffman said. LAPD personnel visually estimated the weight of the explosives to be around 16 pounds.
Price and City Councilor Mike Bonin, who represents Westside’s more affluent communities, brought forward a motion to order a report on city protocols providing for compensation for victims of city-caused disasters, citing discrepancies in how whose city responded to the fireworks explosion in South Los Angeles in relation to a July 11 sewage spill in the Westside.
The gap between these two responses, with (LA Sanitation and Environment) subsidizing residents to relocate due to the Hyperion sewage spill, compared to households displaced by the LAPD explosion who have to wait. the help found by their council member, highlights the inequalities in the response of municipal services to various communities throughout the city, ”the motion said.