Defunding Police: Community members in Culver City talk about future of policing

Over one hundred people gathered at Veterans Memorial Park in Culver City Tuesday for a peaceful protest, and during the protest, people talked about how they view the future of policing.

"Have the police come and know the community. Come to us and know who lives there, know the family situation, the kid's dynamics so they can approach them and know how to speak to these kids, not see them as being targets," said Gina Varrientos.

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Varrientos said she worries about her children.  

"I have boys, my nephews, and I want them to feel secure when they go out, when they start driving at the driving age, they'll feel safe instead of afraid when a cop approaches them and they can go to a cop when they need help," said Varrientos.

Some protesters are requesting to defund the police which does not mean abolishing police.

"I think they need to be clear on how they define defund. We're not saying take everything away, but it would be good to take some of that money that's being budgeted for the police departments, put it back into the communities just like Gina was saying so that there are community services available to families,  things that were missing. You hear people say they were mentally ill, well where's the help for the mentally ill? So they should be defunded," said Kelly Beard.

Lamarr Williams who grew up in South Central believes there needs to be more conversation.

"The future of policing should be taking a step back, seeing the racial injustices that have been going on in our black communities for a very long time.

Moving forward, we just need to just start by starting a new conversation, sitting down and understanding each other, seeing where we're coming from, and be able to give perspective on what we can do to build relationships, not only with the cops but with all communities," said Lamarr Williams.

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Williams said there needs to be an understanding between the community and police.

"All the police officers out there in the world are not bad cops. We understand that they're not bad people, but if anything we do need to sit down and start changing the narrative and stop actually talking about what we need to do to take away from them and we need to start talking about how we can build," said Williams.

Actor and Comedian Bill Bellamy joined the peaceful protesters on Tuesday and said laws should be in place too.

"I think when you say defund the police, it just throws everybody off. I think people think like you mean get rid of the police, but we need the police. We just want to do it differently. Cops should know the neighborhood like the back of their hand.

They shouldn't feel like outsiders in a neighborhood that you work in. I think we should do a lot of new legislation on what's permissible.

There's no reason for chokeholds, excessive force. There should be stipulations on how far you should go so you won't even get there and on top of that, there has to be some kind of accountability program in the police force so that there's checks and balances," said Bellamy.

The group of protesters marched through the streets after sitting in the park to listen to people speak about their experiences with racism.