Germania Rodriguez Poleo, Daily Mail, October 2, 2023
Los Angeles’ controversial zero-bail policy went into effect on Sunday after a judge ruled that the old cash system discriminated against minorities and the poor.
A person’s bail amount was previously based on the severity of the allegations against them – but critics argued this benefited those who could pay.
Now those accused of non-violent or non-serious crimes will be released. Defendants accused of more serious crimes will appear before a magistrate who will determine alternative ‘appropriate non-financial pre-arraignment release terms.’
Officially known as Pre-Arraignment Release Protocols, the zero-bail policy has been slammed by cops who believe it will undermine crime fighting. Zero bail was first introduced to combat overcrowding in the city’s jails during the pandemic but expired last summer.
The new law comes as officials in LA say organized crime and the pandemic-era zero cash bail is to blame for a recent spate of smash-and-grab raids, with robberies jumping 10 percent last year and nearly 580,000 larcenies reported to the police.
Twelve counties, including Glendora, Lakewood, Arcadia and Santa Fe Springs, sued the city on Friday in a last-minute attempt to block the law, and more are expected to follow.
Glendora Mayor Gary Boyer said: ‘Our big hope would be to overturn the zero-bail policy or at least put a pause on it so that we have the ability to take a harder look at it and find out whether or not this is the right thing to do.’
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore has also spoken out about the policy, saying ‘that approach offers little to no deterrence to those involved in a range of serious criminal offenses.’
‘The elimination of cash bail for these types of offenses is really an invitation to these kind of folks who are inclined to break the law and inclined to do it so brazenly,’ warned Tom Saggau of the LA Police Protective League.
LA county supervisor Holly Mitchell has defended the new law, saying, ‘It’s really dangerous for us to conflate bail with accountability… Bail means I have the resources to pay my way out of jail.’
Rapper 50 Cent warned the city was ‘finished’ after it announced it would reintroduce the policy earlier this summer.
He spoke out after a judge in the Democrat-run city ruled that holding inmates to cash bail when they can’t afford to pay was a violation of their constitutional rights.
‘LA is finished watch how bad it gets out there. SMH [shaking my head],’ the hip hop star wrote on social media.
Governor Gavin Newsom has been a fierce defender of the move claiming it would help ‘root out racial inequity and structural bias.’
‘We will once again have the opportunity to make California a national leader in the unfinished fight for equity and justice,’ he said as he campaigned for the measure.
Deputy Police Chief Alan Hamilton said that a September robbery of a Nordstrom store, which resulted in the theft of $300,000 in luxury good, was ran by crime groups.
A gang of more than 30 had made off with $300,000 in goods in the robbery of a Nordstrom in Topanga Mall in the city.
Videos circulating online show the thieves grabbing luxury goods from brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Burberry and Bottega Veneta.
The gang had also deployed bear spray to attack two security guards at the store, allowing them to cause chaos.
Last week, a 14-year-old girl was among an organized gang of female looters arrested after the latest in a series of brazen daylight raids targeting stores in southern California.
She and her mentors did not even bother to disguise themselves as they ransacked the Nike store in Irvine, grabbing armfuls of clothes as they sauntered around before strolling unchallenged into the street.
Flashmobs involving as many as fifty people attacking stores in the Golden State, have prompted the LAPD to form a taskforce.
At the end of August the taskforce, named the Organized Retail Crime Taskforce, said they had made eleven arrests in connection with four cases.