Gavin Newsom has been accused of having blood on his hands in the wake of the death of a Selma police officer at the hands of a released convict.
Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp blamed the Democratic governor and “every legislator in the state of California who supports this over-reaching phenomenon they try to disguise as legitimate criminal justice reform,” citing the suspect’s criminal history and the fact that he was released from prison earlier than his sentence required.
Newsom was asked to respond to Smittcamp’s statement during a press conference Wednesday and he pointed the finger back at the D.A., saying she should “blame herself” for the young officer’s death. He went on to say that he was “sick and tired” of being lectured by her on public safety, and challenged her to look in the mirror.
Smittcamp fired back in another statement Wednesday, calling Newsom’s response “arrogant and defensive,” and noting that he failed to answer the question posed to him. She pointed out that he is the biggest proponent of early release of criminals and that his policies are a constant threat to public safety. She also invited Newsom to her office for a discussion and voiced her support for a Republican-led initiative in the California Assembly, AB 15, which would make Department of Corrections records pertaining to inmates’ release dates and early release credits public.
It’s easy to see why Smittcamp is frustrated and angry with Newsom’s response. The officer’s death could have very easily been prevented if Newsom had not pushed for early release of criminals and had instead taken a tough stance on crime and punishment. His policies have created a dangerous situation in California, and it’s time that he take responsibility for his actions and make sure that this doesn’t happen again.
The real issue here is that Newsom and other legislators need to stop trying to pass off their soft-on-crime policies as progressive reform and instead focus on making sure that criminals face the full weight of the law. California needs strong, effective leadership that will ensure public safety, and that starts with holding elected officials accountable for their actions.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.