Recently, photos of a Lamborghini with LAPD decals on the side of it have been circulating around the internet, with many using it as an example of why the country needs to defund or drastically reduce police funding. So does the LAPD actually have a Lamborghini police car?
Yes, the LAPD did have a Lamborghini at one point, but the department didn’t technically pay for it.
Pictures of the souped-out police car were first shared to social media in 2014. The department insisted no tax dollars were spent on the high-level machine, and that it was donated. The Instagram page for the car is still available; the last photo was posted in 2014.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Lamborghini Was Donated to the LAPD for a Period of Time to Draw Attention to Charitable Events
According to Car and Driver, the Gallardo Lamborghini was donated to the LAPD in 2014 by Nathalie and Travis Marg of L.A.-based Light Source 1, Inc., a telecommunications contractor. The donation was meant to be on a short-term basis, as a way to attract attention to charitable events held by the department.
It’s not clear if the LAPD is still in possession of the Lamborghini, or if the police department has since returned the speed racer to the Margs. However, the Facebook page advertising it still exists.
Regardless of how the police department acquired the Lamborghini, many are now using photos of the car as a symbol for the need to radically reduce police funding — and it appears these calls are being seriously heard by some officials.
The LAPD Was Expected to Receive a 7% Boost in its Annual Budget Next Year — Now, That Budget Has Been Slashed by $150 Million
The official car of "defund the police" is this LAPD Lamborghini parked in a disabled spot pic.twitter.com/Jsr5Tyzdz2
— Peter Miller (@peter_miller) June 9, 2020
Early this month, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he was throwing out the proposed budget for the LAPD, and slashing it by around $150 million. That means the annual budget for the police force in Los Angeles will shrink from $1.89 billion to $1.86 billion, Forbes reports.
Garcetti further committed to dedicating $250 million (some of which will come from police funding, and some of which will come from other city initiatives) towards youth jobs, health initiatives, and “peace centers” for those who need to heal from trauma. Per The Los Angeles Times, Garcetti explained to a gathering of religious, political, and community leaders, “I got calls from mayors around the country, some of them saying, ‘I’m so excited,’ and other ones saying: ‘What the hell did you do? Now I gotta shift money.’ That’s exactly the point. It starts someplace, and we say we are going to be who we want to be, or we’re going to continue being the killers that we are.”
Some might look at the numbers above and think that $150 million isn’t that much when you compare it to the $1.86 billion the LAPD will still likely receive in funding — but LAPD Police Chief Michel Moore insists that this is a drastic cut.
Per The Los Angeles Times, Moore said approximately 96% of the LAPD budget is directly funneled into salaries and other payroll costs. “This is a sizable and sobering amount [to cut from the budget] and one that you initially look at it with some concern as to how one might find such a level,” he said. “My commitment is to be earnest and also to hear perspectives of others.”