Murders in Los Angeles County have spiked nearly 200% so far this year compared to the same time in 2020, with at least one official blaming the “defund the police” movement and progressive law enforcement officials.
There were 60 people murdered in L.A. County as of Feb. 28 – a 186% jump from the 21 killings reported during the same period in 2020, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department told Fox News in a segment that aired Thursday.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told Fox News criminals are emboldened by District Attorney George Gascón’s progressive policies and stressed that people must understand that such elections will have consequences.
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“They need to really pick and choose very carefully.because for them it’s very easy to say, ‘Oh yeah, all cops are bad,’ and, ‘Let’s reform and defund the police,'” Villanueva said. “Yet they’re the very first ones to pick up the 911 when someone’s crawling over their back gate trying to get into their house.”
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But University of Southern California Law Professor Jody Armour said police should examine the impact of their own behavior on crime trends and their reputation.
“That reservoir of resentment is actually, in and of itself, also a driver of crime,” Armour told Fox News. “Until that’s healed, we’re really not going to get at the spiraling crime problem.”
Armour said funds should be reallocated to other agencies to handle public issues, such as homelessness.
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“And then this leaner, meaner law enforcement can focus its attention on solving violent and serious crimes,” he said.
Fox News’ Jonathan Hunt and Nicole Collins contributed to this report.