Sheriff Adding Deputies To Camps, But Facing 56% Increase In Murders, Devotes Half Of News Conference To Attacking LA Times
Written by 991KBU on July 15, 2021
Los Angeles County sheriff Alex Villanueva is sending additional deputies into the mountains above Topanga Canyon and Pacific Palisades … to confront squatters posting a significant fire danger.
Dozens … maybe hundreds … of people are camped out in the canyons … stretching as far west as Malibu.
At least 10 fires … most of them runaway cooking or heating fires … have started at homeless camps in the Malibu area recently … according to one city councilman.
Villanueva says he has sees the threat.
NEWSCART 73628 AVHOME 111
“Right now … we have our homeless outreach service team has been very busy in Pacific Palisades and in the Topanga Canyon area … all those where the wildland and the urban areas interface.
“At the base of the foothills … that’s a very high danger area because when encampments start fires there it races uphill and downwind and then when have tragedy.
“So we are working hard to move those encampments out of harm’s way and get them the shelter they need.
“And that is going on.”
Villanueva’s war of words with political enemies continues … and his threats to send in deputies into city police department jurisdiction areas continue.
But … at the same time … L A County is in the midst of a serious … very serious increase in crime.
The new monthly statistics for the county area are horrendous … as disclosed by Villanueva.
NEWSCART 73627 AVHOME 222
“Crime, yes crime continues to rise.
“Our homicide rate … 55.66 percent increase since last year … and that’s for the first six and a half months of this year.
That is a huge number … a big increase.
“Aggravated assault is up 10 percent.
“Grand theft-auto up 29 percent.
“And arson up nine percent.
“And aggravated assaults with a firearm and unlawful shootings is up 50.84 percent total.
“And these are huge numbers statistically… so it is violent out there,
“So folks we need to do everything we can … simple rules.
“And leave your guns at home … allright???”
Villanueva advised people to leave their guns at home … and a few seconds later said his office is on track to issue a record number of concealed carry weapons permits in Los Angeles County.
Villanueva devoted more than half of his appearance yesterday to attacking the Los Angeles Times and its reporters.
In a rambling dissection of recent news articles … Villanueva accused The Times of various journalistic and factual misdeeds.
Things like being anti-Latino for calling the sheriff full of bravado … in an opinion column.
Or accusing the sheriff of taking advantage of the homeless crisis to make political points.
Again … Alex Villanueva:
NEWSCART 73629 AVTIMES 333
“You assume that I am a politician who looks for openings to somehow seize them as an opportunity to do something.
“Ma’am you could be no further from the truth.
“If you can’t understand someone doing their job like they are eleected to do … well … then you have no business writing articles …. but knock yourself out …sad state of affairs … OK?
“why your newspaper is in the sad state of affairs that you are in.”
15 minutes… paragraph by paragraph … blasting a reporter at the LA Times … accusing her of racism … and basically of being stupid.
Villanueva also again laid into political critics … Mike Bonin and other LA city council members … District Attorney George Gascon … and others.
Now .. the police chief in Santa Monica is asking public questions about Villanueva’s discussions about sending sheriff’s deputies into Santa Monica to deal with homeless there.
Jacqueline Seabrooks told the Santa Monica Daily Press newspaper that she is frustrated that Villanueva did not give her the courtesy of informing her that he was going to meet with some disaffected Santa Moncia merchants.
The merchants then talked with the sheriff about diverting deputies into the Third Street Promenade area … to deal with homeless persons.
Some merchants are unhappy that the city wants to teat down a dilapidated parkign garage and replace it with homeless services.
They have sued the city.
And now the sheriff is bypassing the SMPD and the city hall .. to tale to the unhappy business people about sending deputies into downtown Santa Monica.
The last time that happened … it was a fiasco … as Villanueva personally led deputies into last year’s looting.
Deputies stood by at the command post while downtown Santa Monica was pillaged.
Yesterday … the Santa Monica police chief said she was frustrated that Villanueva neglected to inform officials of his visit on the homeless issue.
She told the Santa Monica Daily Press … and we quote … “in my experience, and I’ve been in law enforcement for shy of 40 years, It’s very unusual for an executive representing another entity that is not the primary law enforcement entity to not reach out and, as a courtesy, speak to the Police Chief,” she said.
Seabrooks said she is not opposed to collaborating with the shereiff … but that’s not what the sheriff did.
Seabrook told the Santa Monica Daily Press that she is confused about how deputies would help … and that Santa Monica has a strong system in place to tackle the homeless issues in a compassionate and constitutional manner.
Villanueva’s opponents … from the LA County Board of Supervisors on down … see the sheriff as running for reelection … and pulling TV-friendly stunts as part of that campaign.
Several people are planning to run against Villanueva.
The most serious may be Cecil Rhambo … the police chief at Los Angeles International Airport.
Rhambo is a former L A County assistant sheriff, he has worked 33 years in law enforcement and also served as city manager of Compton.
In his announcement … Rhambo said he wants to address issues like the so-called deputy gangs.
As a Black and Asian man, he said … he understands what it’s like to walk along the street as a person of color.
He accused Villanueva of eroding public trust in the agency, saying he “used fear to consolidate power and tried to rehire ex-deputies that committed domestic violence or excessive force and who make us good cops look bad.”