A precinct of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) posted a sign on their building doors claiming the precinct's public facing desk closure was due to "defunding" instead of the 800 LAPD officers currently out due to the COVID-19 virus.
William Gude, who runs the @FilmThePoliceLA account, posted a short video of the piece of paper—complete with spelling errors—posted outside Wilshire Station.
It quickly went viral.
The paper said:
"Due to defunding we are currently short staffed."
"For today 1/08/2022 our desk will be closed."
"SORRY FOR THE INCONVIENCE [sic]"
According to the Daily Dot, the LAPD stated:
“The station front desk was closed until the afternoon due to a shortage of personnel."
They did not comment on the reason for being short staffed.
Daily Dot also reached out to the Film The Police LA account and was told:
“Jan. 8 is when the sign was dated, although I assume it had been closed up until the time I saw it on Jan. 12.”
Gude sent an email to Police Chief Michel Moore about the sign.
"You posted a sign on Wilshire Division front door stating the state is closed because of 'defunding'."
"Reality: You're closed because you're short-staffed due to COVID."
"I don't appreciate the lies to my community, Michel."
"I also don't appreciate you posting messages that are somewhat political in nature."
"Please remove the sign immediately."
Gude also made a formal complaint against the station's captain.
The complaint read:
"Posted public messages at division station that contained false information."
"Used pandemic as opportunity to post political messages meant to deceive public."
Moore did respond to Gude's email stating the sign was "inappropriate" and they are looking at CCTV footage to see who is responsible.
"Out of respect to our people I recognize someone other than a member of this Department may have posted this in a effort to embarrass us."
"However, if we identify that a member of this organization is responsible disciplinary action will be taken."
Gude replied both captains must be included in the complaint.
"The only way we are going to get your department under control is if those in supervisory/leadership positions are held accountable for conduct of their subordinates."
It was later confirmed by L.A.Taco a police officer was responsible for posting the sign.
Gude told L.A. Taco:
“When [the other cop-watcher] pointed it out, we both started laughing."
“We couldn’t believe the shamelessness of the LAPD."
"I was also thinking this is yet another unforced error on the LAPD’s part, and I’m going to make them pay for blaming us.
There are more than 800 LAPD personnel either sick or quarantining due to the COVID virus.
At a press briefing on January 11, Moore said there are 562 new cases this week in addition to the 462 cases the week prior.
In the same thread, Gude posted a video of an officer calling the COVID sickness "fake news" even though it came directly from their department.
The officer was not wearing a mask even though there is an indoor mask mandate in LA County.
The police did not offer to put on masks when called out for not wearing them so Gude put in another complaint.
The response a supervisor gave him was the LAPD's specific mask policy does not require employees to wear masks if they are six feet apart.
When Black Lives Matter activists demanded the police be defunded, their was an initial $150 million budget cut.
However, most of that was made up with overtime.
The budget for 2021-22 was just approved for an additional $41 million which now totals $1.76 billion.
The Los Angeles Police Commission just asked for a $213 million dollar increase for next year's budget. If the commission approves, the new budget would total $1.9 billion.