Councilmember Mike Bonin in CD 11 wrote on Twitter:
“Arson is a heinous felony and the person responsible for setting the #PalisadesFire and risking the lives of residents and firefighters should be prosecuted and held fully accountable. Intentionally setting a fire to cause harm or damage is a despicable crime and must be punished.
“Arson is a crime committee by an individual and not a person’s housing status. Suggesting the suspect’s housing status is a contributing factor to the crime is irresponsible, and implies other people experiencing homelessness are inherently more dangerous or more likely to commit arson than housed people.
“I cannot recall a public official or the media every highlighting that a fire was set by, or a crime committed by, a housed individual, although most are. This was not an encampment fire; it was arson. The arson’s suspect’s housing status is no more relevant than his race, his religion, or his sexual orientation. Exploiting this incident to stoke anti-homeless sentiment is irresponsible and harmful.”
Councilmember Joe Buscaino in CD 15 wrote in a message he shared with the press:
“This morning the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed that the suspect in the Palisades fire has been charged with arson and was identified as a homeless individual.
“Our homelessness crisis is destroying neighborhoods and endangering the lives of the housed and unhoused. Over sixty percent of the fires that the LAFD has responded to this year have been related to homelessness. Allowing unregulated sprawling encampments is not compassionate, it’s reckless.
“That’s why we must act now on passing regulations that will return the rights of every Angeleno to enjoy our public spaces, and prohibit encampments whenever people are offered shelter. We must support safe and clean sidewalks, parks, and beaches. We must support a livable city where we can raise our children without being subjected rampant crime on our streets.”