Los Angeles lawmakers are wrestling with whether to accept a federal grant to counter extremism, a move that critics believe would lead to targeting Muslims.
The debate has roiled City Hall, where dozens of people turned out Tuesday to urge city officials to turn down the money. Some shouted angrily from the crowd as an aide to Mayor Eric Garcetti told lawmakers that the money would fund programs to combat Islamophobia and hatred and provide culturally appropriate services to help communities.
Los Angeles is poised to get $425,000 from the Department of Homeland Security under the Countering Violent Extremism program. Under the federal grant, L.A. would enter into contracts with local groups to foster "proactive efforts to build healthy communities," address hate and promote youth leadership, according to a city report.