Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore says that “All the suspects taken into custody” following the smash-and-grab robbery of a Nordstrom store during Thanksgiving weekend “are out of custody.” Moore said the looters were freed “as a result of one juvenile, or the others as a result of bailing out or zero-bail criteria.”
Thieves hit 11 Los Angeles area stores that weekend, stealing $338,000 in merchandise. But several of the looters pled poverty and got out, thanks to a California Supreme Court decision that ordered judges in the state to consider a suspect’s ability to pay when setting bail. If you can show you are “indigent” — no visible income or means of support — you get to walk.
The court’s decision came despite California voters’ November 2020 rejection of a proposed end to the state’s cash-bail system, the AP reported.
Since then, the ramifications of “zero bail” have come up in numerous cases.
Earlier this week, officials in San Jose and Santa Clara County slammed the policy, blaming it for the release of two homicide suspects who authorities have linked to a Halloween murder.
One of the suspects is charged with murder, while the other is charged with being an accessory to murder. The shooting stemmed from a road rage incident after the victim collided with several other vehicles. The man charged with murder, Efrain Anzures, claims he fired in self-defense.
Anzures will be confined to home arrest with an ankle monitor while his accessory, Alfred Castillo, was allowed to go free “on his own recognizance.”
The San Jose Police Department also weighed in, saying, “the criminal justice system believes they are fine out of custody without bail,” despite the serious charges against them.
“Yes you read that correctly, two homicide suspects, charged, out of custody,” the department said in a tweet. “Our community deserves better, the victim’s family deserve [sic] better. The taking of someone’s life is the ultimate crime. The system has failed.”
“This is an absolute assault on the safety of San Jose residents,” Sean Pritchard, president of the San Jose Police Officers Association, told Fox News in a statement.
It’s not just accused murderers who are benefitting from this zero-bail policy. One case involved a car-theft suspect being arrested 13 times over 12 weeks.
The police are blaming one of the usual suspects — the ACLU:
Pritchard and other police union leaders are blaming the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for policies it sees as enabling criminals, such as California Proposition 47, which downgrades charges of theft under $950 from felonies to misdemeanors. The voter-approved measure has been blamed by some amid a wave of smash-and-grab burglaries in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
Several police unions have sponsored a website called ACLU Watch, which is dedicated to “dedicated to fighting for victim’s rights, accountability for criminals, and exposing those that defend the indefensible.”
You can’t blame this catastrophe entirely on the ACLU. It’s those behind the ACLU who are lighting the match. They may be doing it in the name of “reform” or “transformation,” but the result is blood and chaos in the streets and the unraveling of our society.