Villanueva could do what decades of police reformers could not: Place limits on L.A. County sheriff’s deputies — who have shot over 1,000 people, mostly unarmed, in the last three decades, including three officers.
“It is a complete nightmare in the police department, in the Sheriff department, in our society,” Villanueva said.
He did, however, support giving the county’s chief of police the authority to carry a gun, citing cases of domestic violence, hostage situations and police officers getting “tired of trying to control these people.”
On Tuesday, Villanueva, along with a dozen other people, gave a statement to the Los Angeles Civil Rights Commission opposing two of the proposals the commission is considering for the 2019 budget. Both proposals — one to raise the minimum wage for county employees and the other to create a paid position for retired police officers that could handle calls for service involving active-duty officers — would raise the minimum wage for county employees.
As commission members weigh whether they want to advance the minimum wage proposals or not, they will continue to hear from Villanueva, who sits on the board that oversees the commission but does not vote on budget items.
The commissioner, whose commission has been criticized by business groups and others for trying to use the budget to advance its political agenda, said during the commissioners’ meeting that most of the members think the county should be able to control what its police officers do.
“As a commission, we are very uncomfortable with that,” he said. “There’s a lot of people that think that we should be able to do whatever we want. We’re not there yet.”
A year ago, Villanueva, who is a Democrat, said he planned to support a minimum-wage increase of just over $2 an hour. He said at that point he did not see the need for a paid position for retired police officers. But as the commission’s budget work began to gain momentum last fall, he came to support a minimum