With the state of California seeing such a massive rise in crime, some politicians are walking back previous rhetoric and policy. Gov. Gavin Newsom is leading the unsubtle rhetorical shift for criminal justice reform, which is reducing punishment for those who transgress to demanding crackdowns on criminals.
As we remember the week before Christmas, smash-and-grab robberies and cities happened in the same store twice with injuries, Newsom shared the “Real Public Safety Plan” that “focuses on new investments that will bolster local law enforcement response, ensure prosecutors hold perpetrators accountable and get guns and drugs off our streets.”
“Through robust new investments and ongoing coordination with local agencies, this plan will bolster our prevention, deterrence and enforcement efforts to aggressively curb crime, hold bad actors to account and protect Californians from the devastating gun violence epidemic,” Newsom said. Newsom sounded more like past Republican governors like Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian, than a governor who has blocked executions of murderers and closed prisons. San Francisco Mayor London Breed pledged to end “the reign of criminals who are destroying our city” by becoming “less tolerant” of what she called “bullsh*t.” She declared a state of emergency in the Tenderloin district due to surging street crime and drug usage that’s happening right now. Across the San Francisco Bay in Oakland, Mayor Libby Schaaf urged the city council to vote on hiring more police officers. Oakland saw 134 homicides in 2021, the most in two decades. The mayor of San Jose also has decided to join the anti-crime chorus after two people charged with homicide were set free while awaiting trial, “I appreciate the purpose of bail reform” said Mayor Sam Liccardo, “but releasing a homicide suspect without bail is outrageous.”
The massive crime wave has massively hurt California, and many are blaming California Attorney General Rob Bonta for the rise. Sacramento County’s district attorney, Anne Marie Schubert, who gained fame for prosecuting a serial killer, is challenging Attorney General Bonta by tying him to criminal justice reforms. Bonta is allied politically with the district attorneys of Los Angeles and San Francisco, George Gascón and Chesa Boudin, who are looking towards potential recalls.
Photo Cred: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times