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Gov. Gavin Newsom – who is sort of like the Justin Trudeau of California but with fewer incidents of blackface — brought his hair stylist, make-up artist, and wardrobe staff to Los Angeles to stage a photo op. Newsom and some aides (I’m assuming they are aides, willing to put up with this in order to make lucrative political connections that will set them up for life) picked up some of the garbage strewn around train tracks where gangs of thieves have been robbing cargo from passing trains.
“It looked like a third world country, these images, the drone images that were on the nightly news,” Newsom told reporters gathered Thursday along the cleaned up tracks.
“My frustration with this in particular is the images look like a third-world country,” repeats Gavin Newsom, clearly concerned about how California is perceived
Applying the classic “when the only tool you know is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail” approach, the governor has pledged to dump boxcars full of money on the problem until it disappears from the media.
The governor said his new budget proposal includes funds to expand the Organized Retail Theft Task Force created last year when Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities saw organized groups of roving thieves carrying out smash-and-grab robberies at retail stores.
As for whether there will be any change to the policy of not prosecuting people for theft, Newsom reiterated the policy in California of charging people with robbery only if they are connected to a gang. (He also reportedly apologized for his use of the word “gangs” claiming it was not intended to be “pejorative.”)
“These folks are arrested as if they are individuals that are not going connected to the whole, and we need to change that,” he said.
Same dude signed a law last year that said gang membership could not be used to enhance charges against criminals. He also signed a law to prosecute people for retail theft if they are members of a gang, but now it’s back to prosecuting people whether they’re members of a gang or not. Seems like it would be more straightforward just to prosecute people who commit crimes and punish them accordingly, but I guess California cannot do that because of Prop 47.
The question remains whether all of this show for the cameras will change anything.
In December, Union Pacific sent a letter to LA County District Attorney George Gascón’s urging more aggressive prosecutions for cargo thieves and calling for an end to a no-bail policy for some defendants aimed at reducing overcrowding at jails during the coronavirus pandemic.
“These individuals are generally caught and released back onto the streets in less than twenty-four hours. Criminals boast to our officers that charges will be pled down to simple trespassing — which bears no serious consequence,” the letter said.
No serious consequences unless you were trespassing in the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. One of the other things about third world countries is the authorities usually are pretty tolerant of property crimes against common citizens; but they do harshly punish critics of the regime.
Anyway, if Gavin Newsom thinks the railyards around Lost Angeles look like a third world country, then what about this: