The sheriff for Los Angeles County spoke out Tuesday night on "Fox News @ Night," claiming the work of law enforcement officers in the state was being undermined by liberal policies by some district attorneys.
Fox News host Shannon Bream asked Sheriff Alex Villanueva to react to recent comments from San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who criticized calls for crackdowns on recent crime spikes as "knee-jerk reactions," and claimed that "smash-and-grab" thefts in California were "not new."
"There’s nothing ‘knee-jerk’ about it. It’s just common sense," Villanueva said. "This person just does not get it and I’m sorry to hear that. But you know what? He has a responsibility to have – if you want to do reform, that’s great. No one argues about reforming any system of government.
"But when you fly in the face of common sense, the fact that we have in our county, L.A. County … I have a 92 percent increase in homicides in two years. I have a 16 percent increase in grand-theft auto. I have a ‘zero bail’ schedule, which means every person I catch with a stolen car gets a ticket, walks out of jail … in fact, they’re out of jail before they’re even done writing the report, the deputies.
"And this person [Boudin] claims it’s a ‘knee-jerk reaction’ to go back to holding people accountable? I think the old-fashioned ‘having people suffer the consequences for engaging in crime' means something.
" I think the old-fashioned ‘having people suffer the consequences for engaging in crime' means something.
"And it’s people … They live in this ‘woke palace’ where they’re not affected by the policies, but the average person IS impacted by them."
Villanueva claimed that in Los Angeles County there have been more than 12,000 cases in which liberal District Attorney George Gascon has declined to prosecute suspects apprehended by county deputies after alleged crimes.
"So that is disheartening for any cop to think all their work is being undone by a careless and irresponsible district attorney. But they’re not going to stop doing their job. The deputies … keep doing your job, don’t use the excuse of someone else not doing their job to avoid it – and it’s working.
"So we’re making the effort out there. What we need now is, we need responsible district attorneys who are going to file their cases. And if they want to play the role of public defender, they should just quit their job and go over to the public defenders – and everything they say makes perfect sense for a public defender, not a district attorney."
Bream also asked Villanueva for his opinion about turnarounds in some Democrat-run cities, where mayors and officials have seemed to abandon the "defund the police" campaigns of 2020 and are instead looking to increase their police budgets and crack down on crime.
"It’s encouraging but it’s sad," Villanueva said, "because these the politicians … are only making the move because they’re seeing the vulnerability of their political position. That’s why they’re reacting to it – not because they acknowledge it was the wrong thing to do from the very beginning.
"Sadly, L.A. County, the Board of Supervisors, has defunded our department. We already lost 1,281 positions – and they’re doubling down and they refuse to refund the sheriff’s department while we’re fighting these massive increases in violent crime.’