Written by T. Logan Dayne
Gavin Newsom is not known for being tough on crime. His lax approach to crime, as seen in his support for legislation that downgraded felonies to misdemeanors, reduced prison sentences, and shifted many detainees from state prisons to local jails, has come under intense scrutiny as California falls further into disrepair.
Petty crime is skyrocketing as train robberies are taking place in broad daylight in Los Angeles with some criminals even reported as mocking law enforcement officers that they would be released quickly with little punishment. Combined with a flurry of “smash and grab” theft and now the brutal stabbing of UCLA grad student in Los Angeles, Newsom finally spoke on who is actually to blame for this; police and prosecutors.
“[Newsom] should be ashamed of himself,” Lisa Smittcamp, district attorney in Fresno county stated. Although Newsom claims his policies prevent crime, reality tells a different story. “It’s not deterring [crime], it’s not preventing it. It’s not doing anything to stop this, which is why it just keeps getting worse and worse and we keep seeing more bold behaviors, we keep setting more criminals who are empowered,” Smittcamp lamented. Newsom has been accused of trying to destroy law enforcement and weaken laws with his policies after he spoke about blaming prosecutors for not holding people accountable. Newsom has been recently criticized for supporting three state laws that he says have reduced crime. Prop 57 which reduced prison sentences, AB 109 which shifted some convicted criminals from state prison to local jails, and the controversial Prop 47 which changed some laws from felonies to misdemeanors.
The criticism rings true with people observing the environment in California. The “emboldenment” of many criminals have only led to an escalation and there is little doubt that the policies Newsom praises has played a role in that. While he speaks of accountability, Newsom excuses himself, shifting blame to local officials while tying their hands in the process. These factors caused Lisa Smittcamp to conclude that “[Newsom’s] either ignorant of the statistics, or he’s a liar.”
Photo Cred: David Crane/ Los Angeles Daily News