I believe there is an important untold story behind the recent murder attempts and hate attacks in our city (Attempted Arrest for Murder, Santa Monica Daily Press, March 10). In particular, the violent attacks detailed in the SMDP news report are the latest example of local crime-friendly policies that fuel violent crime in Santa Monica.
According to publicly available law enforcement records, the person identified as the attacker in these assassination attempts was arrested on other charges on January 19, released on parole two weeks later, and then arrested for a felony on February 21. And despite being arrested for it just a few days after being paroled, he was released from prison again—this time on “own obligation”—hours after being arrested for a felony.
And just 10 days later, on March 3, there were attempted murders, violent hate crimes in Santa Monica.
To make matters worse, not only did the probation and “plea guilty” programs free the person identified as having committed these violent hate crimes and attempted murder here, but the violent offenders were released through exactly the same means prior to committing murder and assault. with deadly weapons in our city last year. Now, at the beginning of 2023, we are back in business.
And how the hell does a person arrested for a felony shortly after parole get released from prison the same day for a felony, as happened just days before the recent attempted murder and hate attack in Santa -Monica?
The primary responsibility for such a tragic failure lies with the Los Angeles County Probation Department, which not only advises courts on probation and oversees parolees, but also runs a program designed to “help » courts in deciding whether to release self-recognizability. The Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles County, of which Santa Monica is a third district, appoints the head of the probation department.
And the violent consequences of the county’s approaches make it clear and obvious that the Probation Department’s standards are dangerously flawed and in need of massive overhaul.
I also suggest that elected county judges who release and re-release violent offenders become much more skeptical of the recommendations of the county probation department, while the California legislature would review any state laws that require or allow judges or probation officials to release violent offenders.
Finally, it seems to me that our city administration has an important role to play. The Santa Monica City Council must strongly oppose county policies that allow violent crime in our city and pass bold new ordinances requiring strong local prosecution of violent criminals arrested here for misdemeanors. Work with our Police Department and the City Attorney’s Office to set a goal of keeping violent criminals out of jail. Each of them. Don’t settle for arrests and charges that ultimately allow violent criminals to be released to commit crimes again and again.
Conclusion: Violent crime is a problem that now unflappable government officials no longer have to justify or ignore.
Peter DiChellis, Santa Monica