News and Commentary

[UPDATED] ‘Defund The Police’ Activist Alyssa Milano Triggers Massive Law Enforcement Response Over Gun Threat
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 15: Alyssa Milano attends Sean Penn, Bryan Lourd and Vivi Nevo Host 10th Anniversary Gala Benefiting CORE at Wiltern Theatre on January 15, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo credit: Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage via Getty Images

Actress Alyssa Milano, who recently became a top supporter of the “Defund the Police” movement, which seeks to disband police departments and redirect funds to “community organizations,” was quick to call the cops, the Daily Mail reports, over reports of an “armed gunman” in her neighborhood.

Fortunately, no one was hurt; the “armed gunman” turned out to be a teenager targeting squirrels with an air gun, according to the outlet. He turned himself in to authorities after realizing he had caused the problem.

Milano, though, who recently tweeted to “Defund the Police” and asked her social media followers to sign on to a petition that “demands a 90 percent reduction in police funding” in the Los Angeles city budget, triggered what neighbors told the Mail was a “massive” police presence after calling 911 to report gunshots on Sunday.

“Alyssa and her talent agent husband … had dialed 911 when they heard what they believed to be gunshots on their 1.39-acre property,” the Daily Mail reported (Milano now challenges that version of events). “They allegedly told the emergency hotline the sound ‘scared their dogs’ and made them feel like the gunman was nearby. A description was given of a suspect to the officers who was ‘male, 40-years old, with long rifle.'”

The couple was reportedly concerned that the alleged gunman could be a stalker; Milano has filed restraining orders against an older man who has broken into her home twice.

The call triggered “a response that included seven Ventura County Sheriffs’ vehicles, one K-9 unit, a police helicopter, and one Los Angeles Fire Department team that sat down the street on standby.”

Neighbors reportedly warned each other to “stay inside and stay safe” as police combed the neighborhood.

Neighbors, though, were also quick to point out that Milano, who has petitioned to severely cripple law enforcement, did not seek out alternative ways of resolving the situation.

“She can tweet those things because at the end of the day she lives behind gates in a gated community. She knows the police will come to save her. But what about all those people who don’t have that luxury and live in unsafe neighborhoods? She obviously doesn’t care,” a neighbor told the mail referencing Milano’s tweets from over the summer. “She uses her platform in hypocritical ways. Why not send your husband into the yard to find out what is actually going on before you call the police? I would guesstimate the response today from law enforcement cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.”

“In July, the left-leaning activist Alyssa tweeted out to her 3.7 million followers a link, urging them to sign the ‘People’s Budget L.A.’ that demands a 90 percent reduction in police funding,” the Daily Mail noted. “[Milano also] tweeted: ‘What is the Los Angeles Police Protective League? @LAPPL is a narrow special interest group that lobbies our politicians to protect the LAPD budget, pension + officers. But electeds (sic) need to #ProtectPeopleNot Police. Sign the #People’sBudgetLA petition.'”

UPDATE: Milano has issued a statement claiming a neighbor alerted them to a man “dressed in black” holding a rifle. It is not clear, based on her statement, who called the police though her neighbors claim to the Daily Mail that she was the one who alerted authorities. Milano says that is “a lie,” and thanked the Ventura police department for responding to the call regardless.

Milano later says that she believes “equally trained non-police professionals” should be available to respond to “addiction and mental health crises and non-violent events” so that police can focus on incidents like the one that occurred in her neighborhood.

This is a departure from her earlier statements which include a call to “defund the police” altogether and for “abolition,” presumably meaning the full abolition of law enforcement, and her support for a 90% financial reduction in the Los Angeles Police Department’s annual budget, which would severely hinder the department from responding to typical 911 calls — a situation that cities like Minneapolis, Minnesota, are currently struggling with.

This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information. 

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