A man was spotted sitting on a bench on La Cruz Drive with his backpack on the ground and a 6-inch knife in his lap. It appears that it was the same homeless individual that may have been sleeping in the Post Office.
This instantly led to an outcry by some residents that the Post Office should be closed after hours, that a community alert should go out and something should be done to the man for having possession of a knife.
Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin responded, “In the future, if someone is sitting on a bench with an exposed knife. I encourage you to call the police immediately. Obviously, each situation is different and will dictate the appropriate response. But either way a call for service should be generated.”
Could this man be arrested? The law states that SEC. 55.10. CARRY KNIVES OR DAGGERS IN PLAIN VIEW PROHIBITED. (Added by Ord. No. 162,995, Eff. 1/7/88.)
(a) As used in this section, the term “knife” or “dagger” shall include any knife, dirk or dagger having a blade 3 inches or more in length, any ice pick or similar sharp tool, any straight edge razor or any razor blade fitted to a handle.
(b) No person shall wear or carry in plain view any knife or dagger upon any public street or other public place or in any place open to the public.
Even if this individual were arrested, it would be a misdemeanor, and the individual would most likely be cited and released.
One woman wrote in an email to a Palisades group regarding the knife: “Am I the only one who feels like I’m ‘banging my head against the wall’ here? Are we waiting/wanting for an assault?”
Until laws change, LAPD cannot arrest someone for being homeless. If residents were able to get the Post Office closed, which some residents have advocated, it would take the freedom from some people who work odd hours. What would prevent this man from finding another nook in the Palisades?
West L.A. Los Angeles Police Department Commander Craig Heredia summed up the real problem at the April 6 townhall meeting that law enforcement may be less about policing and arresting, but more about convictions and sentencing. Heredia said, “be careful how we vote.”
Proposition 47 in 2014, which passed 59.6 percent to 40.4 percent, was called the “Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act.” It was co-authored by George Gascon.
The Proposition lowered criminal penalties for various property and drug offenses to ease the state’s prison overcrowding problem. Crimes that would no longer be felonies included: petty theft of money or property between $50 and $950, Shoplifting valued at less than $950, receiving stolen property of less than $950, check forgery of less than $950, drug possession for personal use with no intent to distribute.
Voters were told that the money saved from keeping people out of prison would be used for prevention and support programs in K-12 schools, victim services and mental health programs, hence the name “Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act.”
Research was given to voters that predicted that “Crime in California will decrease, because people involved in the criminal justice system who participate in treatment programs will have their underlying issues addressed, commit fewer new crimes in the future, and recidivate by at least 10 percent less.”
At the time, a rebuttal against Prop. 47 stated: “This isn’t just a poorly written initiative. It is an invitation for disaster. Prosecutors and those concerned about protecting the innocent from violent sexual abuse, identity theft and other serious crimes overwhelmingly oppose Prop. 47. Some opponents include:
- California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
- California District Attorneys Association
- California Fraternal Order of Police
- California Peace Officers Association
- California Police Chiefs Association
- California Retailers Association
- California State Sheriffs’ Association
- Crime Victim Action Alliance
- Crime Victims United of California
“Regardless of what Prop. 47 supporters intend or say, these respected law enforcement and victims’ rights groups want you to know these hard, cold facts: Prop. 47 supporters admit that 10,000 inmates will be eligible for early release. They wrote this measure so that judges will not be able to block the early release of these prison inmates, many of whom have prior convictions for serious crimes, such as assault, robbery and home burglary.”
In January 2022, three California assemblymen, authored a bill to repeal Prop. 47, but it failed to move out of committee.
Is there a description of the homeless man with the knife?
Question: Since 2014, has crime in California decreased, especially in those categories of crimes that were no longer felonies?
In my opinion, we’ve GOT to get rid of Prop 47 and 57 ASAP, and Gascon too! What a disaster for our State and City. I don’t think propositions and measures should be named by biased lawmakers!