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. l Driving without a license or driving with a suspended license. The risk of being hit and possibly killed by a drunk driver or by someone who just can’t operate a car just went up, in a sop to the illegal-immigrant lobby.
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute, contributing editor at City Journal, and the author of the bestselling War on Cops and The Diversity Delusion. Follow her on Twitter here.
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