The following editorial is brought to you be a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA- The latest liberal lunacy among DA’s is brought to you courtesy of Contra Costa County (CA) District Attorney Diana Becton. She puts the “loon” in lunatic. When a couple recently painted over graffiti in a roadway otherwise known as a Black Lives Matter “mural,” she had the couple responsible charged with a hate crime. We are not kidding. Now, she wants police officers, while investigating looting cases, to determine if the looters “needed” the stolen merchandise prior to charging them. Seriously.
Where to even start with this one. We have reported numerous times on the crazy, left-wing, Soros-funded district attorneys who are polluting prosecutor’s offices across the country, from Rachael Rollins in Suffolk County (Boston), Massachusetts to Kim Foxx in Chicago and Chesa Boudin in San Francisco.
All were elected through no small part by the fact that billionaire anti-American socialist George Soros dumped copious amounts of cash into their campaigns. What has that brought? Chaos, anarchy, and criminals who are emboldened, no longer concerned about the consequences of their actions.
Last week, a Deputy District Attorney in Becton’s office, in addressing the “vandalism” of the BLM “mural,” posted on social media that “we want more than a citation for vandalism” for the couple. Well, she got it after both were charged with a hate crime.
BREAKING: The #Martinez couple caught on video painting over the approved #BlackLivesMatter mural on #FourthofJuly are being charged with a hate crime, according to a release from the #ContraCostaCounty District Attorney's office. pic.twitter.com/9L21byNsE1
— KCBS 106.9 FM/740 AM (@KCBSRadio) July 7, 2020
Becton is a home girl with St. Louis DA Kim Gardner and Chicago’s Kim Foxx. Remember Gardner? She’s the one who charged the McCloskey’s for protecting their lives and property from an angry mob who had broken into their property in St. Louis. Foxx? She’s the one presiding over the Chicago edition of Tombstone, where the city has turned into the wild west and where dozens of citizens are shot to death every weekend.
— Jose Carlos Fajardo (@jcfphotog) June 1, 2020
RedState obtained a document which identifies so-called “Looting Guidelines,” which were provided to the outlet by a confidential source, however, have been verified as authentic by someone who is familiar with the office’s policies.
The document asks:
Was this theft offense substantially motivated by the state of emergency, or simply a theft offense which occurred contemporaneous to the declared state of emergency?
Factors to consider in making this determination:
- Was the target business open or closed to the public during the state of emergency?
- What was the manner and means by which the suspect gained entry to the target business?What was the nature/quantity/value of the goods targeted?
- Was the theft committed for financial gain or personal need?
- Is there an articulable reason why another statute wouldn’t adequately address the particular incident?
"They are just here to make mayhem."
— KRON4 News (@kron4news) June 1, 2020
According to California law, a looting charge serves to increase the severity of the underlying charge, such as burglary or theft if it occurs during a State of Emergency.
The Shouse California Law Group says:
“Under Penal Code 463 PD, California law defines “looting” as taking advantage of a state of emergency to commit burglary, grand theft or petty theft. Looting charges can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony and is punishable by up to 3 years in jail.”
Despite the fact that no specific state of emergency was declared in individual counties after the Black Lives Matter riots started in May, the whole state has been in a de facto state of emergency since March 4, when California Gov. Gavin Newsom instituted a state of emergency relative to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, looking at Becton’s “guidelines” for charging looting, police officers are now apparently expected to obtain financial records from looters in order to determine whether or not they had a financial need to steal the 10 pairs of Air Jordan’s from the Foot Locker they broke into. Maybe they couldn’t pay Verizon for their cell bill for the $1,000 iPhone they were using to record their hijinks with, and they need to flip the kicks for some cold hard cash.
— SV News 🚨 (@SVNewsAlerts) August 27, 2020
Maybe, as New York’s favorite brain-dead politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, they needed to flip their stolen merchandise so they could go down to 7-11 and buy a loaf of bread. It’s all about “need” after all.
AOC on increased NYC crime: "Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren't paying their rent & are scared to pay their rent & so they go out & they need to feed their child & they don't have money so… they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry." pic.twitter.com/oHSTWWJZ6a
— The Hill (@thehill) July 12, 2020
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
In case you missed it, Becton, along with some of her other left-wing contemporaries polluting DA’s offices nationwide had an op-ed in Politico this past week, and it’s a beauty.
Among their claims is that the “criminal legal system was constructed to control Black people and people of color. Its injustices are not new but are deeply rooted in our country’s shameful history of slavery and legacy of racial violence. The system is acting exactly as it was intended to, and that is the problem.”
“We should know: We’re Black, we’re female and we’re prosecutors. We work as the gatekeepers in this flawed system. And we have some ideas for how to fix it.”
Awesome. They’re going to fix it.
So, how are they going to fix it, exactly? From their op-ed:
“We are implementing policies that include declining to prosecute minor offenses, overturning wrongful convictions, refusing to take cases from officers with a history of racial bias, and expunging marijuana convictions.”
In other words, they are taking the law into their own hands, and using their own personal beliefs and convictions to determine right from wrong. The justice system is no longer blind. They want the justice system to decide winners and losers, irrespective of the facts.
So, what else to these people have in mind to “fix” the criminal justice system?
- Do not prosecute peaceful protesters, saying that citizens have the right to protest and prosecutions can “antagonize marginalized communities.” Remember, Democrats and their mouthpieces on CNN and MSNBC have called all protests “peaceful,” even as buildings were burning behind their reporters.
- Do not accept any funding from police unions- honestly, they have NOTHING to worry about in that regard.
- Require the review of all available evidence—including body-worn camera and other video footage—in cases that rest solely on the testimony of an officer. In other words, it’s a criminal’s word against that of a sworn officer.
- Ban “No Knock” warrants and reexamine our policies for issuing warrants. They address the shooting of Breonna Taylor, a tragedy but one that was caused in no small part by her boyfriend firing at police officers as they made entry into the home after announcing themselves.
- Hold police accountable by pursuing criminal charges against officers unlawfully using excessive force and other forms of state sanctioned violence. Yes, just like Paul Howard did in Atlanta where an officer used deadly physical force in a completely justified shooting.
- Expand our office policies on declining low-level offenses to cover decisions regarding charging and issuing warrants. This is the “let them walk” policy which led to a spate of shoplifting incidents in Boston earlier this year.
- Financially support and advocate for increases in funding to community led and community defined responses, restorative justice, and violence prevention programs.
- Commit to using our office’s power and platform to advance discussions of divestment from the criminal legal system and toward community led and community defined responses to harm. Basically, want to dismantle the current legal system.
- Develop grant-based community reinvestment programs to be administered in partnership with community-based partners.
- Solicit feedback from Black and brown community groups we were elected to serve through public, virtual forms in the next two weeks. If you haven’t noticed it yet, these district attorneys only seek to serve the needs of minority communities, not the entire community they represent.
- Commit to budget transparency.
Many of these people are up for reelection this year. One Soros-funded stooge, Paul Howard has already been sent packing by voters in Georgia. Understand that there are some issues with the criminal justice system that can be fixed. There is clearly always room for improvement.
But letting the inmates run the asylum and letting far-left socialist lunatics undermine the criminal justice system and eviscerate the rule of law is not the approach to take.
“See if looters ‘needed’ the stuff they stole?”
It would be laughable if it weren’t so damned scary. This is where liberals are in 2020.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!