Governor Gavin Newsom deflected criticism over a recent wave of “smash-and-grab” robberies in California, pointing out that crime is also rising in states that don’t get as much attention in conservative corners like Fox News.
“Critics in law enforcement blame this on your lax bail and theft policies, emboldening criminals,” Ms Behar said. “Okay, here’s your chance to tell us.”
Mr Newsom quickly rejected that explanation.
“They couldn’t even identify what they were referring to as it relates to those policies, so that is a lot of rhetoric,” the governor said. “That said, it’s unacceptable what’s happening. Those images are unacceptable...”
“We recognize we have to do more and better,” he went on. “But it’s not unique to California. You’ve seen it in Chicago and Minnesota… Property crime has gone up in many, many states, red states, not just blue states. Violent crime and property crime, for example, is higher in Texas than in California. I don’t see that on Fox News.”
California has been overrun in recent weeks with the so-called “smash-and-grab” robberies, in which organised groups of criminals quickly “smash” the glass of a display case and “grab” large amounts of merchandise.
Last week, Los Angeles police arrested 14 people in connection to 11 such robberies, but were forced to release them all from custody. Some of the defendants made bail, police said, while others met the criteria for the LA County Superior Court’s “no-bail” policy for low-level offenders.
Critics have blamed policies like that one for the recent spate of robberies.
“We need the help of our criminal justice system, of our judges, of our jailers,” Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, said at a recent press conference. “We have opened up a lot of the city because we’re in a better place with COVID. We should be able to also open up our jails, and we should be able to have judges that put people behind those bars.”
Conservative media outlets have embraced that narrative. As one recent Fox News headline put it, “Smash-and-grab robberies plague cities with liberal district attorneys.”
On The View, Mr Newsom dismissed this angle as “politics”. He pointed out that since 2014, when California raised its threshold for felonies – as many other states have done – property crime in the state has consistently gone down.
“So there’s a convenience, there’s a politics that’s being played here, but the facts suggest that this is something else and different,” the governor said.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies