On Monday I noted a new and very disturbing report from KOMO-TV in Seattle titled "The Fight for the Soul of Seattle". Yesterday I noted that the same problems had now taken over much of New York City, thanks to a feckless progressive-left administration there.
Now Heather Mac Donald points out that it's happening in Los Angeles, too.
Los Angeles’ newly elected district attorney, George Gascon, has a plan for ensuring compliance with the county’s draconian stay-at-home orders: make the city so dangerous that Angelenos will be terrified to step outside.
Gascon belongs to a wave of well-funded left-wing prosecutors who have come to office promising to eliminate racial disparities in the criminal-justice system. They are doing so by eliminating key components of the criminal-justice system itself. Gascon’s office will no longer prosecute a wide range of misdemeanor offenses.
Trespass. Los Angeles streets, in all but its wealthiest neighborhoods, are already overrun by squalid encampments. Business owners who have managed so far to survive the lockdown regularly have to sweep vagrants off their property in the morning, along with feces and drug paraphernalia. The vagrant won’t leave? Don’t bother calling the police. Any arrest an officer makes will simply be dismissed. If a homeowner sees a vagrant climbing the fence to his house, he will have to deal with it himself.
. . .
Public intoxication and loitering to commit prostitution. These activities are the prelude to greater problems, as law-abiding residents of high-crime communities know too well. The sister of an assassinated Chicago cop warned in The Chicago Sun-Times this summer that illegal drug and alcohol use on residential streets easily escalates into fatal shootings, because the perpetrators “think no one cares.”
Ending such low-level public-order enforcement has long been a goal of anti-cop activists, who allege that it is racist. But polls consistently show support for such “broken-windows” policing in minority neighborhoods.
Gascon’s most stunning exemption from prosecution is the directive not to charge suspects with resisting arrest ... Since the summer, officers across the country have been shot at, assaulted with lethal projectiles, firebombed and run over. That open season on cops will only get worse in Los Angeles with this declaration that officers’ authority may be resisted with impunity — a declaration that strikes at the heart of civilization itself. Gascon undoubtedly subscribes to the false idea that blacks are under lethal threat from police shootings
. . .
Los Angeles’ new DA is also eliminating cash bail for most crimes and is ending sentence enhancements for repeat offenders and gang members.
After California Gov. Gavin Newsom eliminated cash bail earlier this year for COVID purposes, car jackings, shootings and homicides spiked up. The state abandoned its no-bail policy, and Los Angeles County voted in November to continue requiring bail. Gascon has other ideas. As for repeat offenders and gangbangers, they now have little incentive to go clean.
There's more at the link.
Ian Fleming famously opined, via his James Bond novels, that "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action." We've seen precisely this sort of pie-in-the-sky, cloud-cuckoo-land public policy in Seattle, New York, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Portland, and far too many other cities in recent months. The result has uniformly been catastrophic for those cities. Urban blight and decay have become more widespread than ever, to the point that law-abiding citizens are moving out (even taking a loss on their properties if necessary) rather than stay there to be sucked into the growing misery. One can only presume that such widespread adoption of such incredibly bad public policies is, indeed, enemy action. It certainly can't be accidental!
The question, of course, is why anyone would want to inflict such misery on what were once perfectly good, livable cities. My assumption is that it's all part of a plan to make people utterly dependent on the authorities for what they need to survive. Need protection from crime? Support those who can buy off the gangs - even if they don't always do so. Need clean streets? Vote for those who control the street cleaning department. Need food or other assistance? Vote for those who control aid to the poor and needy in society. There won't be anyone else to help, because all the upstanding citizens who might provide such assistance voluntarily - perhaps through churches, or charities, or other such means - will have left.
There may be other reasons, of course. I'm sure readers can contribute their own opinions in Comments. Nevertheless, the basic fact is no longer deniable - this is deliberate. To stop it, honest citizens have only two choices. They can try to take over local governments, and replace failed policies with ones that will work - but their votes are going to be swamped by those of people dependent on the city "machine". Their other choice is to step outside the legal structures, and take matters into their own hands. In so many words - vigilante justice.
I fear that's precisely what many cities are about to find out for themselves, the hard way. Give people no choice, and they will act. That, in turn, will provoke more Antifa/BLM rioting, and all the chaos and destruction that goes with it; and that will engender further counter-violence. Hello, anarchy and the breakdown of Western civilization . . . which will make the Marx's and Alinsky's of this world very happy indeed.
As one retired LA cop puts it:
The city of Los Angeles, by far the largest of L.A. County’s 88 municipalities, is already suffering from an increase in violent crime. Homicides investigated by the LAPD are up by 29 percent over last year, and late November saw the city’s 300th murder victim, a benchmark not seen in ten years. If Gascón’s social justice methods are effective, surely this trend will reverse itself quickly.
There is little reason to suppose this will happen, however, as evidenced by those cities where social justice prosecutors already hold office. In Chicago, where Kim Foxx has been elected to a second term and her policies are well established, homicides are up 55 percent from last year. In Larry Krasner’s Philadelphia, homicides are up 38 percent, and in Chesa Boudin’s San Francisco they’re up 39 percent.
As should be obvious to all by now, the appending of an adjective to the word “justice,” whether it be social, environmental, economic, or what have you, signals in the user a desire not for actual justice, but rather some bastardized version of it suited to whichever favored group does the appending. George Gascón embodies social justice on stilts, and he owes no small measure of his success to handful of well-heeled leftist donors. George Soros leads the list, with reported contributions to Gascón totaling $2.25 million.
Like Soros, none of Gascón’s other deep-pocketed supporters lives in Los Angeles and will suffer none of the bloody consequences they’ve helped to bring about. How's that for justice?
Again, more at the link. Go read the whole article. It's worth it.
That, too, is why the theft of November's presidential election has got to be stopped now. If that is allowed to succeed, we'll never have another free and fair election - and those behind it, who are also behind our growing urban chaos, will tighten their grip on our society to strangulation point.