Violent Crime in Los Angeles is Skyrocketing; Are George Gascon's Policies to Blame?

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Residents of Los Angeles County are unwittingly – and mostly unwillingly – taking part in a social experiment to determine what happens when theories and policies central to the “reimagining” of the criminal justice system are implemented, and the results aren’t surprising.

As RedState’s regular readers are aware, LA County’s new District Attorney, George Gascon, issued a number of Special Directives on his first day in office in December 2020 including an end to cash bail, a blanket prohibition on charging enhancements (such as gun, gang, multiple victims, committing a crime while on bail) and strikes, and an end to charging any – any – juvenile as an adult.

Predictably, the latest crime statistics reported by the Los Angeles Police Department show a massive increase in homicides, shootings, and gang violence when compared to the same time period in January 2020 – as in three-digit increases. Murders are up 136.4% and shootings are up 261.5%, while aggravated assaults are up 17.5% and motor vehicle thefts are up 17.6%.

CREDIT: Los Angeles Police Department

Rapes, robberies, burglaries, and other thefts are dramatically down, which is a good thing. Granted, there were fewer opportunities to commit these crimes because people in Los Angeles were under a stay-at-home order for most of December through January 25, meaning that residences were generally occupied, people who weren’t going anywhere weren’t leaving their belongings in a car in a parking lot or along the street, and most businesses were closed/boarded up.

Gang-related homicide is up 266.7% year-over-year, and gang-related shootings are up 133.3%. One extremely sobering statistic is that attacks on police officers are up 300% from January 1 through January 18, 2021 when compared to the same time period in 2020.

CREDIT: Los Angeles Police Department

Violent crime has been on the rise in Los Angeles since the coronavirus lockdowns started in March 2020, but the increase became even more pronounced since Gascon took office. It’s almost as if criminals, knowing that they’ll face a minimal sentence if caught and prosecuted and will be free on zero bail while awaiting trial (which they may or may not show up for – time will tell), have decided the risk is worth the reward.

Of course, Gascon is taking none of the blame and his Black Lives Matter supporters are still backing him up. Every time Gascon is criticized in the media both he and his spokesman claim that his decisive victory over incumbent Jackie Lacey shows that he has a mandate from the people of Los Angeles County to implement the agenda he campaigned on and were his practice in San Francisco. But according to El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson, that’s not the case. In an interview with Politico he stated:

“The policies that George has now implemented through these directives are far different from what he did when he was in San Francisco,” Pierson said. “What’s changed is that rather than behaving as though he is a prosecutor, George is essentially conducting himself as though he’s been anointed king of Los Angeles County criminal courts and as though he’s not bound by the two other branches of government.”

Even though the surge in violent and gang crime is hitting minority neighborhoods the hardest, Black Lives Matter issued a press release December 30 reiterating their support for Gascon and incorporating his office’s talking points.

[Gascon] pledged sweeping reforms that came as a mandate from the overwhelming majority of Angelenos who elected him. The people of Los Angeles voted for George Gascon because they want transformative change, which means an end to mass incarceration, the prison-industrial complex, and a system that unjustly criminalizes, targets, and harshly penalizes Black people, Indigenous people and other people of color.

Chief among the reforms are an end to sentencing enhancements and punitive sentencing….

This blind support for Gascon’s policies from Black Lives Matter, even when it’s shown that his policies aren’t making anyone safer, makes it crystal clear that for BLM-Los Angeles not all black lives matter. The only lives that matter are the lives of criminals, and the only objectives are power and sticking it to law enforcement.