It’s like a pilot episode for a new crime drama: Crime is skyrocketing in Los Angeles, where the county sheriff is helping the public arm itself while a far-left prosecutor is letting the bad guys walk.
“We have less cops on the street, more crooks, less consequences,” Sheriff Alex Villeneuva told L.A. residents in a June 2 video posted to social media. “You know, what could go wrong with that combination, right?”
According to Villeneuva, who oversees the nation’s largest sheriff’s department, the budget was slashed by $145 million for the current fiscal year, and the short-staffed department currently has 1,300 vacancies.
Los Angeles County has an estimated population of 10 million residents spread across 4,000 square miles in more than 80 municipalities, including 4 million residents in the City of Los Angeles.
“We’re looking at a 95.24% increase in homicides,” the sheriff reported, “a 7.82% increase in forceable rape; 12.94% increase in aggravated assault; 40.11% increase in grand theft auto; and 22.40% increase in arson.”
“There’s no trajectory for it to drop,” predicts Randy Sutton of the Law Enforcement News Network. “It’s just going to get worse.”
Felony criminal charges, meanwhile, pass through District Attorney George Gascon, a committed leftist. He defeated the incumbent D.A. last November thanks, in part, to mega-contributions from billionaire George Soros and from Patty Quillin, wife of Netflix CEO and billionaire Reed Hastings.
In a preview of what was to come, an NPR story published in January described Cascon as a “progressive reformer” who moved quickly to “upend” how the country’s largest county prosecutor’s office administers justice.
“They sold us a false narrative,” Cascon once said, “that more police, tougher penalties, and more people locked up in prison made us safer.”
In the June 2 appearance, Sheriff Villanueva announced the sheriff’s department is speeding up and streamlining its ability to process applications for concealed carry permits in L.A. County.
The sheriff’s department to date has processed 904 applications, and another 360 are on the way, in a state that is famously no friend of the 2nd Amendment nor a “gun culture” of armed citizens.
What is really messed up now in L.A. County, says Sutton, is the far-left prosecutor is letting criminals go free but will probably punish responsible home owners who use a firearm to defend themselves.
“You add to the mix a bunch of armed citizens,” he says, “and you’ve got a recipe for some serious damage happening.”