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Unmasking Hate: Is Councilman Curren Price Jr. a Victim of Hate in Los Angeles City?


Magazine, The Immigrant Experience, By Ngong L.

In the Los Angeles City Council, hate has disrupted the smooth functioning of our city, and it continues to pose challenges. Reports from California show that hate crimes against Black individuals rose by 22% in the City of Los Angeles in 2022. Given the current circumstances involving Councilman Curren Price Jr. in the LA City Council, we are compelled to question whether he has also become a victim of hate in Los Angeles County.

Councilman Curren Price Jr. is a highly successful and dynamic leader representing District 9 in Los Angeles. Since taking office in 2013, he has spearheaded remarkable developments and progressive changes within his district. He is responsible for uniting the Black and Brown communities and has significantly reduced gang violence in the area. Beyond being a revered leader in his district, he has championed causes benefiting low-income residents in California as well as immigrants. Notably, he allocated a $3 million budget to assist immigrants in their journey to citizenship and initiated policies to raise wages and combat homelessness.

However, on June 13th, 2023, the shock reverberated through the City of Los Angeles when the District Attorney announced embezzlement and corruption charges against Councilman Curren Price Jr. The timing and manner of this announcement raised questions, as it was made during his tenure as City Council Pro Tempore President, without prior consultation with the President of the City Council or his office.

The charges left both fellow elected officials and the public puzzled. Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who replaced Price as the No. 2 on the Council, expressed his confusion about the felony charges and questioned their necessity, stating that he had previously only seen ethics violations for this type of activity. The circumstances surrounding the charges have left many scratching their heads, unsure of the intent behind them.

In a public hearing at City Hall, where a committee discussed suspending Councilman Curren Price, The Immigrant Magazine attended. During this hearing, Council President Paul Krekorian expressed his concern about the District Attorney’s office making such charges public without notifying the President of the City Council. Given the substantial support from members and businesses in the 9th District during this hearing, it became evident that the voters and residents of the district vehemently support Councilman Curren Price Jr. and do not want to lose their leader under any circumstances.

The arraignment of Councilmember Curren Price has been repeatedly delayed, and it may face further postponements. The reasons for these delays remain unclear. At the last court date, his attorney, Michael V. Schafler, stated in his client’s defense, highlighting legal deficiencies in the charges. Schafler emphasized the absence of allegations that Councilmember Price acted willfully or knowingly regarding conflict of interest and financial disclosure charges, essential for such cases. Furthermore, he argued that the embezzlement charges failed to state a cognizable offense and could be time-barred under other relevant statutes. Schafler concluded by expressing confidence that the prosecution could not meet the burden of proving Councilmember Price’s guilt.

Given the points raised by his attorney and the statements from the Los Angeles City Council President, we must consider the possibility that this case is driven by a form of hate against Councilman Curren Price. As a Black leader and an immigrant-friendly elected official, he has been at the forefront of advocating for wage increases for the underserved and the protection of street vendors in Los Angeles.

As we collectively strive for a better Los Angeles where hate has no place, we must remain vigilant against all forms of discrimination, especially when it disguises itself within institutions. The Immigrant Magazine is actively working on the “Stop The Hate in Black Immigrant Communities” campaign in California.

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