Wary Black Voters Helped Sink LA’s ‘Police Tax’

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A pronounced ambivalence about the role of police in largely African American areas of Los Angeles helped sink last week’s ballot measure that would have raised the county sales tax to hire more officers, and remains a formidable obstacle to rekindling the proposal solely as a citywide levy. An analysis by the Los Angeles Times shows that a weakness in South Los Angeles, combined with the perennially anti-tax votes of the west San Fernando Valley, held support for Measure A well below the two-thirds majority needed to pass a tax measure.

This voting pattern, unusual among African Americans, is shaping up as the biggest challenge to Mayor James K. Hahn, who is pushing a divided City Council to put the measure on the citywide ballot next year. The result also highlights the LAPD’s continuing dilemma of trying to increase patrols in high-crime areas of South L.A. without increasing tensions there.

Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-coptax10nov10,0,3595253.story?coll=la-home-headlines

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